A Louisiana man was reported missing after an alligator attacked him in his shed that flooded from Hurricane Ida.

The 71-year-old victim’s wife witnessed the alligator attack her husband and tear his arm off at the couple’s home in Slidell on Monday, USA Today reported. Due to Hurricane Ida’s surge, the family’s shed, which is just across Lake Pontchartrain, got flooded and was under several feet of water.

According to the report, the man’s wife was inside when she heard a commotion and went outside to see her husband being attacked by a large gator. Initially, she was able to pull her husband away from the gator in floodwaters. The woman said she then went inside to get first aid but soon realized that her husband’s injuries were too severe so she got back outside.

When she returned, her husband was nowhere to be found. The man's body hasn't been recovered yet and police are investigating.

Earlier in the day, officials expressed concerns about possible risks and threats alligators pose to first responders and residence. "This is an area that has a lot of swampland, alligators, very dangerous conditions," Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng was quoted as saying by CNN.

"Our first responders are ready to go. They just needed the daylight to be able to do their best work," she said, adding that in some areas flood water reached chest high or reached the top of the roof.

Since making landfall Sunday, Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana with the force of a category 4 storm and swarmed the area with ferocious wind and heavy rain. It has since weakened but two deaths officially recorded have been attributed to the storm.

Alligator attacks during a hurricane or after are rare. “They instantly seek shelter. They have burrows or caves they call home, usually under mud or canal, and believe me, the first thing they are going to do is go into those burrows and caves, which they can stay in for weeks with no problem,” University of Florida conservation biologist Joe Wasilewski said in a 2019 interview to the Florida-Times Union.

In a similar incident, a 60-year-old man was hospitalized after an alligator attacked him and bit him in his left arm in a densely wooded area in a Florida Park. The man was rescued by a Samaritan who called 911 after he found the victim lying along the path.

alligator and man involved in a fierce tug of war after the reptile grabbed dog
Alligator | Representational Image Pexels - Pixabay