Florence flooding threat still real: 'Do not try to return home yet,' North Carolina governor pleads

@FayettevillePD/Twitter(WILMINGTON, N.C.) -- North Carolina's governor on Tuesday pleaded with residents to remain in shelters until flooding from Florence recedes.

"I know it was hard to leave home, and it's even harder to wait and wonder whether you have a home to go back to," Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference. "But please, for your safety ... do not try to return home yet."

Roads remain dangerous and creeks and rivers continue to rise, he added.

About 10,000 people are still in shelters and over 4,000 people have been rescued since the deadly storm made landfall on Friday.

In North Carolina, more than 1,000 roads remain closed, drenched by the powerful storm.

In South Carolina, one bridge was so weak that it gave out under a semi-truck Monday.

Getting food to people stranded by rising waters is also a problem.

"We have no way of getting food for ourselves or the animals," one trapped resident told ABC News. "Power is not gonna come back for awhile. Our road is washed out."

On Tuesday, Officials in Wilmington distributed goods including food, water and tarps to residents who lined up in cars and on foot.

Among those in line were Robert and Karen Foster, whose ceiling collapsed during the storm. The couple has already lived through hurricanes Floyd and Matthew.

"Everybody's closed, so we're hoping we can at least get a tarp here, maybe two," Karen Foster said.

"This has been the absolute worst one," she added. "And it's because it just sat over us for so long and dropped so much water."

Four mass feeding kitchens are operating across the state, and more are expected to be established, officials said Tuesday.

More crews are now assigned to debris removal and some ports will be open Wednesday for ferries to deliver needed supplies, officials added.

At least 32 people are dead, including several young children, as a result of the storm, which brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding to the Carolinas.

Florence dropped about 8.04 trillion gallons of rain on North Carolina, the National Weather Service said Tuesday, citing "the unofficial, radar-estimated storm total rainfall."

Rainfall totals in North Carolina and South Carolina have set new records from a tropical cyclone, with 35 inches and 23 inches respectively.

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Fraternity hazing might be involved in UC Riverside student's death, police say

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- Police said they are investigating whether hazing could have played a role in the sudden death of a 20-year-old University of California Riverside student this weekend.

Tyler Hilliard died after going to a nearby mountain with other members and pledges of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, according to his mother, Myeasha Kimble.

Kimble said her son, who was a business major at UC Riverside, was excited to pledge Alpha Phi Alpha this year.

Alpha Phi Alpha "is one of the oldest Greek fraternities and it's a black organization. Martin Luther King was a part of that organization," Kimble told ABC News. "He did his research. He felt that this was a good fit for him because this organization appeared to be involved in community service."

On Saturday night, Hilliard went with other fraternity pledges to Mount Rubidoux, ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported. Medical aid was called to Mount Rubidoux around 9 p.m. Saturday, and Hilliard was taken to a hospital where he was alert and talking to staff, Riverside Police spokesman Ryan Railsback told ABC News.

'An oath of silence': The secret world of fraternity pledging and how it contributes to hazing deaths

"When I got to the hospital I asked one of the pledgemasters, the ones that leads the pledges ... he said that they were about to start their hike at Mount Rubidoux and Tyler was complaining of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing," Kimble said.

Then Hilliard collapsed and the fraternity members called 911, Kimble said.

From the hospital, Hilliard's family called the Riverside Police early Sunday, saying they were suspicious about why Hilliard had ended up in the hospital and that hazing was possibly involved, Railsback said.

"There were texts in my son's phone in regards to paddling," Kimble explained. "There were also text messages on the phone where he was getting hit with a cactus."

Hilliard then went into medical distress, Railsback said. He was taken to intensive care and died.

Kimble and the rest of his family are now left searching for answers.

"He was kind, he was sweet ... he had a bright future ahead of him," Kimble said. "He was loving to everyone he came across... he was just a good person, a good son. He never gave his father and I any problems whatsoever."

While Hilliard's autopsy report is still pending, police are "conducting an investigation as a suspicious death at this point," Railsback said. "We are looking into concerns the family has about possible hazing."

UC Riverside said in a statement that the "community grieves the loss of our student Tyler Hilliard."

"We’ve shared our condolences and offer of support with Tyler’s family and have made counseling services available to students, faculty, or staff who knew him," the school said. "UCR Student Affairs and UCPD are collaborating with the Riverside Police Department to determine the circumstances regarding Tyler’s passing."

Meanwhile, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity's corporate headquarters said it has suspended all activities at its UC Riverside chapter.

The fraternity is "deeply saddened" to learn of Hilliard's death and is investigating along with the university, the fraternity said.

"Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. does not condone and strictly prohibits any illegal acts, including hazing in any form, whether physical or mental, as a term or condition of membership in the organization," the fraternity said in a statement Monday. "Any member found violating the fraternity’s anti-hazing policy will be immediately suspended with a recommendation for expulsion."

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Doctor and woman accused of drugging, raping women and filming alleged incidents

Orange County District Attorney(LOS ANGELES) -- An orthopedic surgeon who has appeared on a reality-TV dating show and his purported girlfriend have been accused of drugging and raping at least two women.

Dr. Grant William Robicheaux, who has appeared on the Bravo series "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male," and Cerissa Laura Riley were arrested last week and are facing multiple felony charges in California.

The two alleged victims have contacted investigators, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Beyond that, prosecutors have found "thousands" of videos on Robicheaux's phone that are now being examined in which "women in the videos appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist," Rackauckas said.

"Based on this evidence, we believe there might be many unidentified victims out there," he added.

Riley is "purported to be" Robicheaux's girlfriend and the pair used "their good looks and charm" to disarm victims, Rackauckas said.

"We've all heard of a wolf dressed up in sheep's clothing but a wolf can wear scrubs or doctors clothing or a wolf can be a beautiful woman," he added.

The pair traveled to festivals like Burning Man in Nevada and events in Palm Springs, California, the District Attorney's office said Tuesday, calling for any possible victims to contact investigators.

"We don't know how many victims there might be out there," Rackauckas said, adding that the Medical Board of California has opened an investigation.

Both Robicheaux, 38, and Riley, 31, are facing felony charges of rape by use of drugs, oral sex using a controlled substance, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense and possession of controlled substances.

Robicheaux is also facing charges relating to possession of an assault weapon and a sentencing enhancement related to that weapon possession, while Riley faces a sentencing enhancement for being knowingly vicariously armed with a firearm.

In one of the two known cases, the pair allegedly met with a woman at a bar in April 2016 and invited her to a boat party in Newport Beach. The pair then took her to Robicheaux's apartment where she was raped, authorities allege.

That victim, identified only as Jane Doe 1, contacted police the next day and tested positive for multiple controlled substances, authorities said.

In October 2016, Jane Doe 2 drank alcohol with the pair until she was "no longer conscious" and then they took her to Robicheaux's apartment where she was sexually assaulted with intent to commit rape, Rackauckas said.

When she allegedly awoke in the apartment, he added, she screamed for help until a neighbor called police.

They were arrested at Robicheaux's residence Sept. 12 and both posted bail for $100,000 each. Robicheaux stands to spend 40 years in prison and Riley faces 30 years and eight months in prison, if convicted. They are slated to appear in court next month. ABC News is attempting to reach them for comment.

"People often assume that rapists are creepy, scary men who lunge out from hiding amongst bushes and attack unsuspecting women,” Rackauckas said. “The reality is that rapists come in all socioeconomic groups, of any background.”

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Navy officer found dead on court day for order of protection

WJXX-TV(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- A 37-year-old Navy Chief Petty Officer in Florida was found dead on Monday -- the same day she was to appear at a court hearing for an order of protection she sought against a man she claimed kicked her in the stomach and pulled a gun on her, authorities said.

Andrea Washington's body was found just after midnight on Monday in her Jacksonville home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the incident as a homicide.

Washington was assigned to the Navy's USS Hue City, a guided-missile cruiser with its home base in Mayport, west of Jacksonville, authorities said.

On Friday, Washington was promoted to chief petty officer, Phantom McClendon, a friend and Navy colleague of the woman, told ABC affiliate WJXX-TV in Jacksonville.

"Right when she got pinned [a chief petty officer], I told her congratulations and 'I'm proud of you,'" he said.

McClendon said he still has the bottle of cognac he bought for Washington as a gift.

"I knew she liked Hennessey, so I went and bought her the biggest and best bottle," he said, so they could "have a couple of drinks together just to celebrate."

The sheriff's office has released only a few details about the suspected homicide. They have yet to say how Washington was killed or if they have suspects in custody.

According to WJXX-TV, Washington was granted an order of protection on Sept. 4 against a man who lived with her and a hearing on the order was scheduled to occur on Monday.

Washington wrote in her request for the order of protection that her roommate had attacked her after she asked if he was going to help pay household bills. She also wrote that the roommate had pushed her to the floor, kicked her in the stomach and pulled a gun on her, according to a copy of the restraining order obtained by WJXX-TV, and the man kicked holes in her bedroom and closet door, took her vehicle and mailbox keys and destroyed her iPad.

Sheriff's officials have not said if the roommate is a suspect in the homicide.

In a heavily redacted incident report released Tuesday, sheriff's officials wrote that the homicide is not related to domestic violence.

A sign left on Washington's front lawn said First Coast Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $3,000 reward for information related to the case.

"She loved her boys. Her sons were her life," McClendon told WJXX-TV. "Her heart was made of gold. She was the type of person that she would give you her last dollar and the shirt off her back if you needed it. And that's just how she was."

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Elizabeth Smart's captor Wanda Barzee to be released from prison Wednesday

ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Wanda Barzee, one of Elizabeth Smart's former captors, is scheduled to be released from prison on Wednesday -- much to Smart's surprise and disappointment.

Her release comes after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said it had miscalculated the time Barzee, 72, was supposed to serve in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Smart was 14 years old when she was kidnapped in 2002 from her Salt Lake City home and held as a prisoner by Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell. She was rescued in 2003.

Smart, 30, said in a press conference last week that Barzee saw her as a slave, and called her a "handmaiden." She added that Barzee not only assisted in her abduction but would sit next to -- and encourage -- Mitchell as he raped her.

"She did appalling things while I was in captivity," said Smart. "I know the depth of her depravity."

Smart was shocked to find out that her captor would be released from prison so soon, saying last week, "I would urge the powers that be and anyone who works under them to really strongly reconsider this situation, to look at all the facts, look at her mental status, and see if they really and honestly truly feel that she is no longer a threat."

Barzee, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart, was previously scheduled to be released in 2024, and the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole denied her an early parole at a hearing this June.

But Barzee was convicted on both state and federal charges, and her attorney, Scott Williams, argued that time she had already served in federal prison must be credited towards her state conviction, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. The board agreed, and moved up her release date last week.

"The Board has heard concerns and requests to reconsider releasing Wanda Barzee," the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said in a statement last week. "This is not an early release or a discretionary release. On September 19, Ms. Barzee will have spent 15 years in custody, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by her state conviction and sentence. Ms. Barzee cannot legally be held in the Utah State prison beyond the length of her sentence."

Once Barzee is released from the Draper Prison in Draper, Utah, she will have 72 hours to report to the U.S. Probation and Parole, according to U.S. Probation and Parole spokesman Eric Anderson. She will be on a supervised release for five years.

Mitchell, meanwhile, is serving a life sentence, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

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Judge throws out lawsuit filed by horse against former owner

Animal Legal Defense Fund(WASHINGTON COUNTY, Oregon) -- A horse is a horse, of course, of course -- even when that horse is filing a lawsuit.

A judge in Oregon tossed out a lawsuit filed by Justice -- a horse -- against his owner over allegations of animal neglect.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge John Knowles issued his ruling on Tuesday, saying the $100,000 lawsuit will not be allowed to proceed on the basis of the horse being a "non-human animal."

"The court grants with prejudice defendant’s motion to dismiss based on a lack of standing for Justice the horse," the ruling stated. "The court finds that a non-human animal such as Justice lacks the legal status or qualifications necessary for the assertion of legal rights and duties in a court of law."

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed the suit on Justice's behalf alleging owner Gwendolyn Vercher was neglectful in caring for the horse, leaving him outside and not providing proper food or water.

"He was extremely emaciated -- about 300 pounds below body weight for a horse -- and most significantly, he suffered from penile frostbite as a result of his exposure to the cold and that was left untreated for months," Matthew Liebman, Justice's lawyer from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, told ABC News’ daily podcast, Start Here, back in May when the suit was filed.

Vercher called the suit "outrageous" in an interview with ABC News at the time. She pleaded guilty to first-degree animal neglect in criminal court in July 2017, and says she paid for the animal's care as a result.

But the lawsuit for $100,000 was to be used for further care necessary for the animal's remaining years, Liebman said.

In the ruling, the court argued the case would open a "flood" of lawsuit filed by animals.

"There are profound implications of a judicial finding that a horse, or any non-human animal for that matter, is a legal entity that has the legal right to assert a claim in a court of law," the court wrote. "Such a finding would likely lead to a flood of lawsuits whereby non-human animals could assert claims we now reserve just for humans and human creations such as business and other entities."

The ALDF told the Portland Mercury it plans to appeal the judge's ruling.

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Remnants of Florence set to soak Northeast

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Numerous flash flood watches have been issued across the Northeast on Tuesday as the remnants of Hurricane Florence make their way into the region.

Flood watches stretch from Virginia all the way to Massachusetts on Tuesday morning, including Washington, D.C.; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Albany, New York; Hartford, Connecticut; and Boston.

Remnants of Florence will continue to move through Pennsylvania and into southern New York and northern New Jsersy with heavy rain to the north in the Hudson Valley and parts of New England on Tuesday morning.

A cold front will begin to push remnants of Florence toward the coast by Tuesday afternoon with heavy rain expected along the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston. Some flash flooding is possible.

The cold front pushes all the heavy rain off the coast and the Northeast begins to dry out by Tuesday night.

Additional rainfall will be the heaviest in New Jersey and parts of New England, where there could be an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain.

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Flooding from 'epic storm' Florence isn't over yet, North Carolina governor warns

ABC News(SWANSBORO, N.C.) -- North Carolina's governor on Monday called Florence an "epic storm" and warned that some parts of his state "have not seen the worst flooding yet."

"This remains a significant disaster," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference. "The next few days will be long ones as the flooding continues."

First responders have rescued and evacuated more than 2,600 people and at least 300 animals from flooded areas, with rescues ongoing, Cooper said.

Rainfall totals in North Carolina and South Carolina have set new records from a tropical cyclone, with 35 inches and 23 inches respectively.

"We, the people of North Carolina, will get through this," Cooper said.

Dozens of people have died since Florence made landfall Friday.

Among the victims is 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, who was swept away by floodwaters in North Carolina.

His mother was driving on highway 218 when rushing water pushed the vehicle off the road.

"Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees. She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water," the Union County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. The boy's body has since been recovered.

Rivers across the Carolinas continue to swell and threaten neighborhoods with devastating floods as hundreds of roads have become largely impassable.

Residents in South Lumberton, North Carolina, were evacuated Sunday as the Lumberton River continued to rise.

Mandatory evacuations were also issued late Sunday in Hoke County, west of Fayetteville, North Carolina, due to the potential breach of a dam at McLaughlin Lake.

With 500,000 people without power Monday, trucks are having a hard time getting into some areas cut off by the flooded roads.

Getting food to people stranded by rising waters is also a problem.

"We have no way of getting food for ourselves or the animals," one trapped resident told ABC News.

"Power is not gonna come back for awhile. Our road is washed out."

As residents of the Carolinas are trapped in the dangerous floodwaters, the remnants of Florence brought storms to the mid-Atlantic, including tornadoes to Virginia.

One person died Monday in Chesterfield County, Virginia, when a building was hit by a tornado and collapsed, according to the Chesterfield Fire Department.

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Video of dogs rescued from locked cages in rising Florence floodwaters goes viral

iStock/Thinkstock(LELAND, N.C.) -- A video of the rescue of six North Carolina dogs that were locked in a cage rapidly filling up with Hurricane Florence flood water went viral on social media.

In the video, the dogs can be seen panicked, barking and standing on their hind legs against the bars of their cage, trying to get out. The water is nearly up to their heads when they are on all fours. When the rescuers approach them, they wag their tails and paw at the bars.

"They were wet and hungry and very happy to see us," Ryan Nichols, one of the rescuers, told ABC News.

Nichols said he was with his friend, David Rebollar, trying to help people stranded in a church in the town of Leland, when they heard the dogs barking and found them imprisoned in fast-rising waters.

Their guide in the area, a journalist named Marcus DiPaola, caught on camera the moments that the dogs were released and posted the video on Twitter.

"Rescued six dogs in Leland, NC, after the owner LEFT THEM locked in an outdoor cage that filled with flood water that was rapidly rising," he wrote in the post.

"We got them out, but by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned. BRING YOUR PETS WITH YOU! #HurricaneFlorence."

After their release, the dogs can be seen in the video swimming away from the cage, trying to keep their heads above water until they reach higher ground.

Nichols said they reached the backyard of their owner's house, which was on much higher ground, and which had food for them.

Nichols said a neighbor told the rescuers that the owners were a family with children that may have had a medical situation, and that they fled when the waters began rising.

Nichols and Rebollar, both Texas natives, began rescuing hurricane-affected people with the help of a boat when Harvey hit their state last year. That was when they decided they would try to carry on their rescue work in the future.

"We plan on putting larger teams together to do this in the future for all storms," Nichols said.

Rebollar is a Marine in the U.S. Navy and Nichols has a business in Houston.

News of another animal rescue mission also caught people's attention -- and gratitude --- on social media.

Tony Alsup, a trucker from Tennessee, won hearts on Facebook as he travelled in a giant yellow bus from animal shelter to animal shelter, picking up dogs, cats and other animals that needed to be evacuated from the hurricane's path.

His motto: "No one left behind."

"So it begins," Alsup wrote on his Facebook page on September 11, two days before Florence hit.

"I'm absolutely amazed at the cooperation taking place with the animal rescue groups and individuals...Volunteers are stepping up and reaching out to receive new pets from all over the country."

With the help of his bus, Alsup rescued 53 dogs and 11 cats from shelters in South Carolina, according to Greenville News.

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Child swept away in floodwater among those killed by Florence COUNTY, N.C.) -- Since Florence made landfall Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, it has taken the lives of at least 18 people, ranging in age from 3 months to 81 years.

The devastating storm's latest confirmed casualty is 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, who went missing Sunday when he was swept away by floodwaters in North Carolina.

The boy was separated from his mother when she was driving and rushing water pushed the car off the road, the Union County Sheriff's Office said. His body has since been recovered.

The youngest confirmed victim was a 3-month-old who was killed when a tree fell on the child's mobile home Sunday in Gaston County, North Carolina.

Also among those killed was a 41-year-old mother and her 7-month-old son. The two died in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home, officials said. The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

An 81-year-old man died in Wayne County when he fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate, officials said.

In Lenoir County, a 77-year-old man fell and died from "a cardiac event" while checking on dogs outside during the storm, officials said, and a 68-year-old man died when he was electrocuted while plugging in a generator.

The list of victims also includes a husband and wife who died in a house fire in Cumberland County, officials said.

In South Carolina, a woman was killed when she struck a tree while driving, officials said.

Also in South Carolina, Mark Carter King, 63, and Debra Collins Rion, 61, died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator operated inside their home, according to the Horry County Coroner's Office.

"This remains a significant disaster" for much of the state, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday. "The next few days will be long ones as the flooding continues."

"We, the people of North Carolina, will get through this," he said.

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