Despite warnings, a Louisiana man wading in Hurricane Ida flood waters lost his life to an alligator.
The animal bit the man’s arm off during the fatal attack. Officials have not recovered the body. WWL-TV reported the man’s wife called the police about the alligator attack.
A reporter later tweeted that the 71-year-old man was in his flooded shed after Hurricane Ida hit. When she heard a commotion, she saw the alligator and managed to pull him onto the stairs. She left to get help and returned to find his body missing.
On a messy Monday, Louisiana rescue crews also sought stranded residents. Several rooftop rescues found at least 15 people.
According to the TV station, early recordings showed Slidell got 15.7 inches of rain while New Orleans got 14 inches. In other areas of the state, along with Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, the rain came in at 5 to 11 inches.
Alligators On The Prowl
Many county officials issued warnings about alligators as more post-Hurricane Ida rescues and recoveries occur.
Jefferson Parish president Cynthia Lee Sheng said “the worst-case scenario seems to have happened” with the man’s alligator death. She related that the crews had to wait for the sun to come up as part of their strategy among the dangerous conditions.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the state’s focus was on Hurricane Ida’s hardest-hit areas and checking them multiple times. The state’s search-and-rescue teams would work “all day (Monday)” and “for as long as necessary.”
Edwards said the Louisiana National Guard alone rescued 191 people across St. John the Baptist, Jefferson, and Orleans parishes. They did it by boat, helicopter, and high-water vehicle.
St. John the Baptist Parish had 800 rescued people after Hurricane Ida, with 18,000 residents without power late Monday. Internet and other communication services slowly were coming back online too.
The television station also reported that 40 people stayed on Grand Isle. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said he saw several thumbs-up when he checked on them by aircraft.
Hurricane Ida Rescues Grow In Numbers
Louisiana officials said more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers were involved in the response, with more from other states on the way.
The governor said the state would start a ‘grid search’ of the hardest-hit Hurricane Ida places soon. That meant going to every single home on each street to ensure residents are at home and if they need any kind of assistance. Certain areas may be subject to a second search, Edwards said.
Monday also meant catching up on 911 calls. Edwards said state and local officials would go through on calls and rescue people at places they knew called for help.
In New Orleans, a driver drowned, adding to Hurricane Ida’s early death numbers. In the capital of Baton Rouge, one person died when a tree fell on a home.