Wife Says Husband Disappeared After Alligator's 'Death-Roll' Attack in Hurricane Ida Floodwaters

·2 min read
The American alligator
The American alligator

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A 71-year-old Louisiana man is presumed dead after an alligator attack that coincided with Hurricane Ida, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.

The unidentified man was attacked while walking through floodwaters outside of his home in Slidell, located about 30 miles from New Orleans, authorities said. The man's wife told deputies she was inside their home when she heard a commotion and saw a "large alligator" attacking her husband outside.

"She immediately ran to her husband's aide in an attempt to stop the attack," the sheriff's office detailed in a report. "Once the [attack] stopped, she pulled her husband out of the flood waters, and returned inside to gather first [aid] supplies."

But after seeing how severe her husband's injuries were, the woman got into a canoe to make her way to higher ground to find help a mile away.

"When she returned her husband was no longer lying on the steps," the department, which did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment, said.

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Members of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office used high water vehicles and flatboats to locate the man, but their attempts were unsuccessful. An investigation into his disappearance is ongoing, they said.

The department advised other residents to take caution when walking in flooded areas since wildlife may have moved closer to neighborhoods during the storm.

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One video shared with WDSU seemingly showed a dolphin swimming through floodwaters in Slidell on Monday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1 million buildings in the region are still without electricity following Hurricane Ida's arrival on Sunday. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asked residents who have evacuated to refrain from returning to their homes for the time being.

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"If you have evacuated, do not return here or elsewhere in southeast Louisiana," he said during a press conference on Tuesday, according to NBC News. "The schools are not open. The businesses are not open. The hospitals are slammed. There's not water in your home and there's not going to be electricity."