A Louisiana man appears to have been an indirect casualty of Hurricane Ida after he was attacked by an alligator while inspecting the damage done to his house from the storm.
The incident took place Monday in Slidell, not far from Lake Pontchartrain and the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge, according to KTBS-TV in Shreveport.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said that a 71-year-old man appeared to have been killed by an alligator. The victim was identified by NOLA.com as Timothy Satterlee.
Police were called at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, according to WGNO-TV in New Orleans.
The man’s wife, who was reported by police to be in her 60s, said he had gone to check about the high water around their raised house. She said the water had risen to about 4 feet deep, and he went to check on a storage shed located under the house that was being flooded.
Then she heard a splash, said Capt. Lance Vitter, a spokesman for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
At first, she thought her husband had fallen into the deep water in the marshy area.
It was worse.
“She heard the commotion, opened the back door and saw he was getting attacked by an alligator,” Vitter said, according to KHOU-TV.
The animal “had him in a death roll,” Vitter said.
“She tried her best to fend off the alligator. When it released the gentleman, she pulled him up onto the steps to render aid,” he said.
At some point in the man’s fight with the alligator, it ripped off one of his arms.
JUST IN— St. Tammany Fire tells me that a Slidell man was attacked by an alligator, I’m told his arm was ripped off in front of his wife. His wife went to get help & came back, he was gone. He has not been found. This is believed to be related to impact of #HurricaneIda @WGNOtv
— Anna McAllister (@annamactv) August 31, 2021
The woman’s cellphone wasn’t working due to the storm, so she paddled a small boat to higher ground and eventually was able to reach the sheriff’s office.
When she returned, however, her husband was gone, presumed to have been killed by the alligator.
“When deputies got out there, they noticed a large amount of blood and learned from his spouse that the body was no longer present,” Vitter said.
Vitter said the body has not been recovered. Although deputies searched for the man’s body, the current was considered to be strong enough that there was no clear idea of where the body might have gone.
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