Report: Man presumed dead following attack by alligator in Ida floodwaters

Law enforcement authorities are investigating a report that a 71-year-old Louisiana man was attacked and likely killed by an alligator outside of his home in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ida.

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The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said a woman reported that her husband had been attacked by an alligator when he went to a shed outside his home in Slidell, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, after Hurricane Ida had passed through the area.

Captain Lance Vitter, a spokesman for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, said the woman said her husband had gone to check on something in the shed. The couple’s home, which is raised off the ground, is near the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge.

Vitter said the woman said she heard a commotion and was afraid her husband had fallen into the water. When she got outside, she said, she saw her husband being attacked by an alligator.

A posting on the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook page gave this account:

“At approximately noon Monday a resident in Avery Estates off Highway 90 in Slidell contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after her 71-year-old husband was attacked and apparently killed by an alligator while walking in flood waters following Hurricane Ida.

“She told deputies she was inside her residence when she heard a commotion and went outside to see a large alligator attacking her husband.

“She immediately ran to her husband’s [side] in an attempt to stop the attack. Once the attacked stopped, she pulled her husband out of the flood waters, and returned inside to gather first [aid] supplies.

“When she returned and realized the severity of his injuries, she immediately got into her pirogue and went to higher ground, which was approximately a mile away, to get help. When she returned her husband was no longer lying on the steps.

“STPSO used high water vehicles and flatboats in an attempt to locate the victim, but as of this time all attempts have been futile.

“The incident is under investigation and no other information is available at this time.”

The woman told authorities that she tried calling 911 before going for help, but neither her phone nor 911 emergency services were working, NOLA.com reported.

AT&T experienced a massive outage in the area during the storm. The area’s 911 service was also affected during the storm.