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Officials: Louisiana man missing after apparent alligator attack in Ida flood waters

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana on Monday said it is investigating a report that in the wake of Hurricane Ida, a 71-year-old man was fatally attacked by an alligator while walking in flood waters.

The incident took place in Slidell near the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge, NOLA.com reports. The man's wife told authorities that after her husband went to look at something in their shed, she heard a splash, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said.

The woman spotted her husband in the flood waters, under attack by an alligator. Because of the storm, there was no phone service at their house, and the woman said after she saw the alligator rip her husband's arm off, she jumped into a canoe and paddled to higher ground for help.

The sheriff's spokesman said when deputies arrived at the house, the man was gone, but there was evidence left behind — primarily arterial blood — supporting the wife's story. Law enforcement officials conducted a search for the man's body, but were unable to find him before nightfall. The wife told deputies that earlier in the day, she and her husband had seen several large alligators in the area, NOLA.com reports.