A Louisiana man is presumed dead after he was attacked by an alligator while walking in floodwaters following Hurricane Ida.
The St. Tammanay Parish Sheriff’s Office said the 71-year-old man was attacked by the “large” animal around noon Monday in Slidell, a suburb northeast of New Orleans.
His wife was inside their home at the time and heard the commotion outside. She went outside to see her husband being attacked, then ran to help him, authorities said.
The woman was able to pull her husband out of the floodwater, the office said, and then went inside the home to get first aid supplies.
When she realized the severity of her husband’s injuries, she got into a canoe and went to higher ground for help, about a mile away.
When she returned, the man was no longer lying on the steps of their home, where she had left him, the office said.
The sheriff’s office said it used high-water vehicles and boats in an attempt to find the man, “but all attempts have been futile.”
The man wasn’t identified by the sheriff’s office, and few other details were immediately available Tuesday.
The sheriff’s office is warning residents to be on guard while walking in flooded areas as wildlife have been displaced during Ida and might have moved closer to neighborhoods.
Residents in New Orleans and thousands of people in parts of Louisiana were left without power after Hurricane Ida made landfall, causing major flooding and damage to homes and businesses.
“I can’t tell you when the power is going to be restored. I can’t tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday. “But what I can tell you is we are going to work hard every day to deliver as much assistance as we can.”
The storm has caused at least four deaths in Louisiana and Mississippi.