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Louisiana man, 71, missing after being attacked by alligator in Ida floodwaters

The man's wife went to get help after he was attacked and returned to find him gone, she told police.
/ Source: TODAY

A 71-year-old Louisiana man is missing after he was attacked by an alligator in the floodwaters of Hurricane Ida on Monday afternoon, police said.

The man, who has not been identified, was walking in flood waters off Highway 90 in Slidell near his home when he was attacked, his wife told the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the attack.

His wife, who also has not been identified, told deputies she was inside their home when she heard a commotion and ran outside to see a large alligator attacking her husband. He lost his arm in the attack, Sam Brock reported on TODAY Tuesday.

She pulled him out of the water following the attack and went to get first aid supplies before realizing he had suffered severe injuries. She got into her pirogue, which is a small boat, and went to higher ground a mile away to get help. When she returned, her husband was gone, she told police.

Police have searched for the man using high water vehicles and flatboats but as of late Monday night had not found him.

Sheriff Randy Smith warned residents to be careful when walking in floodwaters because alligators and other animals may have been displaced during the hurricane. Louisiana and Florida have the largest alligator populations in the country, with more than one million living in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The death toll from the Category 4 hurricane reached four early Tuesday morning and is likely to keep rising, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said on TODAY Tuesday.