Hurricane Ida: Alligator tears off man's arm amid Louisiana flooding

31 August 2021, 10:50

A man had his arm torn off in an alligator attack amid Hurricane Ida
A man had his arm torn off in an alligator attack amid Hurricane Ida. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A man is missing after an alligator tore off his arm during flooding caused by Hurricane Ida.

The 71-year-old was in his shed, which was reportedly filled with several feet of water, near Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, when he was attacked.

The St Tammany Parish Sheriff's office said his wife saw him being attacked by an alligator. CBS reports his arm was torn off during the struggle in Slidell.

According to local news outlet WWL-TV, his wife pulled him away from the animal and went to get help, but with the storm having knocked out electricity and phone services she had to take a boat to find assistance.

Read more: Hurricane Ida: First death confirmed as powerful storm batters US

Read more: Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana as people brace for 150mph winds and severe flooding

By the time she got back, her husband was missing. Police have spent six hours searching for him but he is yet to be found.

WWL-TV said neighbours report that large alligators are known to the parish because residents feed them.

Hundreds of people have been trapped in the storm after it battered the coast of Louisiana. Ida is one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the US mainland.

More than a million homes and businesses in the state - including all of New Orleans - and neighbouring Mississippi were left without power.

Rescuers have been using boats, helicopters and trucks to get them to safety.

Hurricane Ida has brought damage across Louisiana's Gulf Coast
Hurricane Ida has brought damage across Louisiana's Gulf Coast. Picture: Alamy

People across the state's Gulf Coast sought refuge in attics and roofs, and put their addresses online with instructions for rescuers showing how to find them.

Officials have warned it could be weeks before the power grid is repaired. At least two deaths have been blamed on Ida so far.

The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression on Monday afternoon and is making its way inland, bringing torrential rain.