A 71-year-old Louisiana man is missing after an alligator bit his arm in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ida. Authorities said the storm may have forced wildlife closer to neighborhoods.
Louisiana man loses arm, likely killed in alligator attack in Ida floodwaters
The man was attacked outside his home in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell, which was inundated with several feet of water. His wife said he was attacked as he walked through the floodwaters around noon Monday.
She said she pulled him to safety and then went to get help in a boat, but when she returned home, he was not on the front steps. The local sheriff’s office used boats and offshore vehicles to search for the man, but did not find him. The woman does not believe he survived after the attack.
Jason Gaubert, spokesman for the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, said, “I can confirm that a man was attacked by an alligator at his home on Richards Drive in Avery Estates. This area was flooded by the hurricane.
“His wife witnessed the attack. The man lost his arm, but somehow retraced his steps. His wife went to get help when she returned, he was missing. His body has not been recovered.”
Officials said the storm may have forced wildlife closer to neighborhoods and urged people to be cautious.
There have already been two deaths attributed to Hurricane Ida: a motorist who drowned in New Orleans and a person struck by a falling tree outside Baton Rouge.
More than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi, including all of New Orleans, were without power after the storm made landfall on Sunday.
The damage was so substantial that authorities warned it could be weeks before the power grid is repaired.