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Hurricane Ida: Alligator tears off man's arm amid Louisiana flooding
31 August 2021, 10:50
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.
A 71yo Louisiana man is missing after his wife says she saw him being attacked by an alligator, in flood water, which tore off the man’s arm. This was first reported by @ErikaFerrandoTV.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 31, 2021
The couple lives in a raised house, surrounded by marsh, in a wildlife refuge in Slidell, LA.
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.
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.