Alligators are likely to be lurking in the floodwaters in Louisiana and rescue workers are being extra cautious while looking for survivors
An elderly man from Slidell, Louisiana is feared to be dead after he went missing following an alligator attack in Hurricane Ida floodwaters. The 71-year-old man, whose identity has not been disclosed by the police yet, was attacked by an alligator in his shed as Hurricane Ida flooded the area. According to a warning issued by Cynthia Lee Sheng, the president of Jefferson Parish, alligators are likely to be lurking in the floodwaters and rescue workers ought to be extra cautious while looking for survivors. “Unfortunately the worst-case scenario seems to have happened. This is an area that has a lot of swampland, alligators, very dangerous conditions. [Search and rescue crews] had to wait for the sun to come up this morning. They had a strategy,” she added.
Captain Lance Vitter, the spokesperson from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, revealed that the missing elderly man was staying with his wife at their home near the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge. Before the alligator attack, he had reportedly gone downstairs to check on something in his shed, which was inundated several feet underwater. It was around this time his wife heard a splash and rushed to find him in the throes of a large alligator.
Initially, his wife, who is in her mid-60s thought that the man had skipped and fallen into the water but then she found him under attack by the alligator, who “had him in a death roll”. The woman tried to save him by fashioning a tourniquet but by the time she returned, the alligator had ripped off his arm already. The man reportedly fell unconscious, leaving his wife in a state of horror and confusion. Eventually, she pulled him aside and managed to get on a pirogue, while paddling to the sheriff’s office. But by the time she returned, her husband was nowhere to be found. It is being speculated that he got carried away in the waters. As per latest update, his body is yet to be recovered.
The incident was elaborately reported by the St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office to issue a warning to the local residents.
“The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an apparent alligator attack, which occurred around midday Monday (August 30). 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 aide 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 aide 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. Sheriff Randy Smith warns residents to be extra vigilant with walking in flooded areas as wildlife has been displaced as well during this storm and alligators and other animals may have moved closer into neighborhoods.”