Hurricane Ida: Louisiana warned alligators lurking in floodwater as man’s arm bitten off

Hurricane Ida batters Louisiana as it makes landfall across US

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Images of the devastating hurricane captured from space by NASA show the storm when it was still just Category 2 as it approached the Gulf Coast. But Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on Sunday, August 29 at 1pm as a Category 4 storm and has so far knocked out the power to over one million people. It has reached winds of up to 172mph and is the fifth strongest to ever reach the US mainland.

There are reports that one attack saw a man’s arm bitten off as his wife watched and went to call for help.

But sadly the man disappeared in the floodwaters and officials continue to search for the body.

Earlier on Monday, the president of Jefferson Parish warned that alligators could be lurking in floodwaters while search and rescue teams go door-to-door in search of survivors.

Cynthia Lee Sheng said: “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.”

Despite the South being home to an estimated five million alligators, attacks by the reptiles during or after hurricanes are rare.

But about 250 alligators at a ranch and tour facility escaped their enclosures in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

 

Hurricane Ida has been compared to the devastating hurricane Katrina of 2008 which killed 1,800 people.

And, by coincidence, the latest storm struck the US on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The storm has also caused heavy damage to property.

Videos have shown rooves roofs flying off buildings including hospitals, and fallen trees crushing cars and homes, with high water taking over roads and communities across Louisiana.

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One resident in New Orleans told CNN: “Last year we had (Hurricane) Zeta, and electricity was out for about five days, but it was nothing compared to this — the winds, the gusts, the shingles flying everywhere.”

The storm is now being described as a slow-moving tropical storm.

But officials are still worried that the storm could still bring flooding to parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

US President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in the state, releasing extra funds for rescue and recovery efforts.

He said on Monday that the US federal government would “stand with the people of the Gulf [Coast] for as long as it takes for you to recover”.

There have also been warnings that more tropical storms are possible later this week.

So far, two people have been confirmed dead.

A 60-year-old man died after a tree fell on his home, and a man drowned in New Orleans after attempting to drive through floodwaters, officials said.

Firefighters have also struggled to put out more than a dozen fires.

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