Review Category : National News

President Obama Warns Hurricane Matthew Is Far from Over

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama warned Friday morning that the devastation from Hurricane Matthew is far from over, and the potential for storm surges, flooding and property damage “continues to exist.”

“I just want to emphasize to everybody that this is still a really dangerous hurricane,” Obama said during a statement from the Oval Office after meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Deputy Homeland Security adviser Amy Pope.

Before Matthew struck the Atlantic Coast, the president issued federal emergency declarations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts. The White House said FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.

The president also spoke with the governors of the four states likely to be impacted by Matthew.

So far, the devastation has not changed the president’s plans to travel to Chicago this weekend for fundraisers.

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President Obama to Make Statement on Hurricane Matthew

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will deliver a statement on Hurricane Matthew from the Oval Office after meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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Hurricane Matthew Lashes Florida with 100 mph Winds, One Dead as 500,000 Lose Power

ABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Hurricane Matthew battered the Florida coast with powerful winds, potentially devastating storm surges and torrential rain on Friday, leaving hundreds of thousands without power as officials made last-minute appeals for any remaining holdouts to get out of the storm’s way.

Hurricane Matthew claimed its first victim in the U.S. on Friday, as the St. Lucie County, Florida Sheriff confirmed a person died overnight after emergency officials could not get to them after suspending operations because of the storm.

“This is a big major hurricane that is just offshore and it is fully capable of producing life threatening storm surge,” Rick Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), told Good Morning America, on Friday. “If you are in an area that emergency managers told you to evacuate and they’re telling you to go, you absolutely have to go now. Your life could depend on it.”

The National Weather Service declared an extreme wind warning for Brevard County on Friday morning as the western eye wall of the Category 3 storm brushed by Cape Canaveral, home of the Kennedy Space Center, producing wind gusts in excess of 100 mph.

More than 500,000 people were already without power across Florida, although officials said service was being restored in the southern part of the state.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Hurricane Matthew’s center was 25 miles east-southeast of Daytona Beach.

Meteorologists warned of an imminent destructive storm surge.

“We know from hurricane history that water takes nine out of ten lives in landfall in the U.S.” Knabb added. “Matthew is going to write some history. The key here is you don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t want to be writing up a report for the NHC that totals up the storm surge or the inland flooding fatalities and you’re one of them.”

The deadly storm is projected to run parallel to the shore over the next two days, producing a potentially devastating storm surge of up to 10 feet over some 500 miles of coast that stretches from central Florida up into South Carolina. The potential for a destructive storm surge, coupled with up to 15 inches of rain expected in isolated areas, has officials fearing catastrophic flooding.

Forecasters in Jacksonville warned of “worst case storm surge scenario” and said “if a direct impact occurs this will be unlike any hurricane in the modern era.”

“We’ve been blessed that we haven’t had a direct hit,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott told GMA on Friday. “But as you know, with the hurricane force winds we’re going to see a lot of storm surge.

“We’re going to see a lot more storm surge than we’ve seen in the southern part of the state so that’s my biggest concern right now,” Scott added. “If you’re in the Jacksonville area, you still have about an hour to evacuate, so do it if you have a chance to evacuate. I don’t want anybody to be around the storm surge.”

Thursday, Scott urged coastal residents to move to safe ground, warning, “This storm will kill you.”

Some 3.1 million people were told to evacuate in three states. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville warned residents that “catastrophic damage” is anticipated for coastal areas and areas along the St. John’s River.

The governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency. Officials in three of those states have urged coastal residents to head inland as the most powerful Atlantic storm in more than a decade continued on its path along the coast.

Hurricane Matthew has caused major transportation disruptions for much of the U.S. Nearly 4,000 flights were canceled from Wednesday to Friday due to the storm’s dangerous winds. Amtrak suspended services in the southeast because of the severe weather. No alternate transportation will be provided, the railroad said.

Motorists clogged highways, homeowners boarded up windows, and anxious shoppers lined up at grocery stores and gas stations this week as they stocked up on emergency supplies in the threatened coastal areas ahead of the storm.

Matthew’s forecast track showed the hurricane possibly weakening as it moved closer to the Florida shoreline on Friday.

No other Atlantic storm on record has packed such powerful winds for such a prolonged period as Hurricane Matthew, ABC News meteorologists said.

More than 377,000 people were evacuated in Cuba as Hurricane Matthew approached the Caribbean island earlier this week, according to the United Nations. And in Haiti, at least 350,000 people are in need of immediate assistance. There were reports of a powerful storm surge, violent winds and widespread flooding.

The storm caused some 120 confirmed deaths in Haiti but officials said the total could be significantly higher.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm to a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 a.m. ET on Friday.

Florida

More than 513,000 customers lost power across the state as of Friday.

Hurricane warnings covered hundreds of miles of Florida’s east coast from just south of the city of Jupiter to the state line. A major hurricane has not struck Florida in over a decade.

Schools across most of the state were closed for the rest of the week as the governor deployed 3,500 National Guard troops to assist in storm preparations. More than 1.5 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before. There were 22,000 people in our shelters,” Scott told GMA on Friday.

Georgia

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal ordered mandatory evacuations east of I-95, along the entire Georgia coast, which covers beach spots including Tybee Island and Brunswick. About 522,000 people were urged to evacuate.

“I also encourage the voluntary evacuation of residents in low-lying coastal areas west of I-95,” Deal said in a prepared statement on Thursday. “I urge Georgians in the affected areas to remain calm, be prepared and make informed, responsible decisions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew’s path.”

Deal said that 125 miles of roadway have been made one-way routes to ease evacuations and that 65 National Guardsmen have been deployed to help with traffic. He said he hopes residents will heed the warnings.

“We are being cautious, but we don’t want people to panic,” he said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “I don’t intend to prosecute anyone for not leaving. I think Mother Nature will take care of them.”

Deal told later reporters Thursday night, “This is not Southern hospitality we are inviting to Matthew — we hope he leaves as soon as possible.”

South Carolina

In South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday announced plans for additional evacuations, bringing the total to about 1.1 million people ordered to move from coastal areas.

Haley also urged residents to “fuel up quickly” and stock up on supplies before gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores close. Most of the state’s public schools and government officers are shuttered for the remainder of the week.

“Residents that don’t leave today will realize that nothing is open,” she said.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for all of the state’s 100 counties on Thursday.

“This declaration will allow us to use further resources throughout the state to assist with the storm response here at home and to our neighboring states to the south,” the governor said in a statement.

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Tour the Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown, SC

Janet Weinstein/ABC News(GEORGETOWN, S.C.) — Local authorities from various emergency response organizations have opened up an operations center in Georgetown, South Carolina, as Gov. Nikki Haley called for the evacuation of the town’s residents.

“We are watchful,” said Georgetown Country public information officer Jackie Broach. “We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”

Those stationed in the operations center include law enforcement officials, the National Guard, Red Cross and county logistics and communications workers. They are planning to staff the center 24/7 throughout the remainder of the storm.

Since Georgetown was affected by historic flooding nearly a year ago, Broach says a top priority is distributing sandbags to protect against a recurrence.

“We had over a thousand sand bags yesterday that we distributed in just 90 minutes,” she said Thursday, adding that more bags will be continued to be distributed throughout the day.

ABC News took a tour of the operations center as preparations for Hurricane Matthew ramp up.

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Pet Owners Urged to Take Precaution as Hurricane Matthew Slams Southeast US

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — Animal activists, shelters and local authorities are urging pet owners to keep their animals safe from the wrath of Hurricane Matthew, which is slamming the Southeast U.S. with powerful winds, storm surges and flooding.

The ASPCA activated a disaster response team in anticipation of animal rescue and shelter needs throughout the Southeast during Hurricane Matthew, and urged pet owners to take measures to keep their animals safe.

“The ASPCA stands ready to assist animals in Matthew’s path, but the first and best line of defense for pets will always be a well-prepared owner,” Dr. Dick Green, Senior Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team, said in a statement.

The non-profit animal rights organization recommended that pets wear ID tags with up-to-date contact information, and that owners prepare “portable emergency kits” with items such as medical records, water bowls, extra food and medications.

PETA issued a similar warning. Among the tips they recommended to take as a result of the storm was to take pets with you when being evacuated.

“If you are being evacuated, never leave animals behind,” PETA said. “There is no way of knowing what may happen to your home while you are away, and you may not be able to return for days or even weeks. Animal companions left behind may become malnourished or dehydrated or be crushed by collapsing walls. They may drown or escape in panic and become lost.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office also asked residents to take steps in watching out for their pets.

“Bring animals inside. They will not be OK left outside,” the office tweeted late Thursday night.

The Miami Herald reported that pet-friendly shelters are attracting those who are unable to protect their pets from the storm due to tenuous living conditions.

The Herald said that Broward County’s pet-friendly shelter at Millennium Middle School in Tamarac had picked up 18 cats, 27 dogs and two birds by Thursday afternoon.

“We have never had this response before,” Sharron Carmichael, a shelter manager who works for the Humane Society, told the newspaper. “We know that if it is not safe at your home for you, it is also not safe for your pet.”

The storm is expected to run parallel to the coast of Florida as it tracks closer to land over the next two days. Officials have warned of the potential for historic storm surges in parts of the state, and severe flooding.

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Transformers Explode as Hurricane Matthew Knocks Out Power to 300,000 in Florida

Barry Allen(MIAMI) — Eyewitness videos of Hurricane Matthew in Florida show transformers exploding in the wind and rain, sparking and popping like bursting fireworks in the storm.

Power outages have created major headaches for residents in the early hours of Friday morning, as the storm brought with it powerful sustained winds off the east coast of Florida.

More than 300,000 people lost power.

Florida Power and Electric reported 213,000 without power, and Duke Energy reported an additional 10,222 affected customers. Other companies reported power outages as well.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm to a Category 3 Hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 a.m. ET as the storm tracked dangerously close to land, bringing with it hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and a dangerous storm surge.

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Hurricane Matthew Lashes Florida Amid Dire Warnings, 300,000 Lose Power

ABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Hurricane Matthew battered the Florida coast with powerful winds, potentially devastating storm surges and torrential rain on Friday, leaving hundreds of thousands without power as those remaining in the storm’s path were ordered to shelter in place.

The western eye wall of Matthew brushed by Cape Canaveral, home of the Kennedy Space Center, producing wind 115 mph gusts there at around 5:30 a.m. on Friday.

More than 300,000 people were already without power across the state of Florida.

A 17-foot wave was observed 20 Miles east of Cape Canaveral as the most intense section of the hurricane churned just offshore. Meteorologists warned of an imminent destructive storm surge in central Florida.

An 88-mph wind gust was recorded near Satellite Beach, just south of Cape Canaveral, the National Weather Service said.

The deadly storm is projected to run parallel to the coast of the Sunshine State as it tracks closer to land over the next two days, producing a potentially devastating storm surge of up to 10 feet over an expanded swath of coast that stretches from central Florida up into South Carolina. The potential for a destructive storm surge, coupled with up to 15 inches of rain expected in isolated spots, has officials fearing catastrophic flooding.

Forecasters in Jacksonville warned of “worst case storm surge scenario” and said “if a direct impact occurs this will be unlike any hurricane in the modern era” as the outer bands of the storm lashed the state Thursday night.

“This storm will kill you,” Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference Thursday morning, urging that “the time is now” to evacuate ahead of the Category 4 storm.

“This is life and death,” he added.

As of Thursday afternoon, about 3.1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in three states. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville warned residents that “catastrophic damage” is anticipated for coastal areas and areas along the St. John’s River.

“Only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida and Georgia,” the National Weather Servuce said. “Modest deviations to the right could keep much of the hurricane-force winds offshore.”

President Barack Obama, at Scott’s request, declared an emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts. The move authorizes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Obama also signed a state of emergency declaration for South Carolina and Georgia on Thursday.

Others have echoed Obama’s and Scott’s urgency as the hurricane battered the Bahamas and strengthened over the warm waters of the Atlantic.

“The extreme winds of a major hurricane can do a lot of damage, and not just at the coast,” Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center, told Good Morning America.

“Those winds can penetrate inland, and that would be more so the case the closer it gets to the coast,” he warned. “In addition to the wind, you have storm surge potential. People who have been told to evacuate. They need to get out this morning, right away, because time is running out fast. You don’t want to be caught in the storm surge, which is the deadliest hazard of all.”

The governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency. Officials in three of those states have urged coastal residents to head to safer ground as the most powerful Atlantic storm in more than a decade continued on its path along the coast.

Motorists clogged highways, homeowners boarded up windows, and anxious shoppers lined up at grocery stores and gas stations as they stocked up on emergency supplies in the threatened coastal areas.

Matthew caused major transportation disruptions for much of the U.S. More than 3,800 flights were canceled from Wednesday to Friday due to the storm’s dangerous winds. Amtrak suspended services in the Southeast because of the severe weather. No alternate transportation will be provided, the railroad said.

Florida has about eight days worth of fuel for its citizens, Scott said, reminding them to “take only what you need.”

Matthew’s forecast track showed the hurricane making landfall or coming in close proximity of the shoreline on Friday afternoon.

If it makes landfall, Hurricane Matthew could be the strongest storm to hit the United States in more than a decade, ABC News meteorologists said.

“It is very rare to have a hurricane of this strength come this close or make landfall in the eastern part of central or northern Florida,” meteorologist Max Golembo said.

After a briefing with his homeland security team at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Obama told reporters Hurricane Matthew is “a serious storm, and we want everybody to take it seriously as well.”

“Just remember that you can always rebuild,” he said. “You can always repair property. You cannot restore a life if it is lost, and we want to make sure that we minimize any possible loss of life or risk to people in these areas.”

No other Atlantic storm on record has packed such powerful winds for such a prolonged period as Hurricane Matthew.

More than 377,000 people were evacuated in Cuba, according to the United Nations. And in Haiti, at least 350,000 people are in need of immediate assistance. There were reports of a powerful storm surge, violent winds and widespread flooding.

Florida

More than 300,000 customers lost power across the state as of Friday.

Hurricane warnings covered hundreds of miles of Florida’s east coast from Boca Raton north to the state line, while forecasters said nearly the whole state can expect to see at least tropical-storm-force winds and rain. A major hurricane has not struck Florida in over a decade.

Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties canceled schools for the rest of the week as the governor deployed 2,500 National Guard troops to assist in storm preparations, with another 4,000 on standby. More than 1.5 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate.

“There is no reason not to evacuate,” Scott told reporters. “No excuses. Get out.”

Georgia

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal ordered mandatory evacuations east of I-95, along the entire Georgia coast, which covers beach spots including Tybee Island and Brunswick.

“I also encourage the voluntary evacuation of residents in low-lying coastal areas west of I-95,” Deal said in a prepared statement. “I urge Georgians in the affected areas to remain calm, be prepared and make informed, responsible decisions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew’s path.”

Deal said that 125 miles of roadway have been made one-way routes to ease evacuations and that 65 National Guardsmen have been deployed to help with traffic. He said he hopes residents will heed the warnings.

About 522,000 people were urged to evacuate.

“We are being cautious, but we don’t want people to panic,” he said at a press conference this afternoon. “I don’t intend to prosecute anyone for not leaving. I think Mother Nature will take care of them.”

Deal told reporters Thursday evening, “This is not Southern hospitality we are inviting to Matthew — we hope he leaves as soon as possible.”

South Carolina

In South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley announced plans for additional evacuations, bringing the total to about 1.1 million people ordered to move from coastal areas.

Residents in Charleston and Beauford counties and areas of Berkeley, Colleton, Dorchester and Jasper counties were advised to begin evacuating Wednesday no later than 3 p.m. ET.

But she said not enough people are heeding the advisories. As of Thursday morning, only 175,000 people had evacuated.

“We need more people evacuating,” Haley said at news conference Thursday morning.

Haley urged residents to “fuel up quickly” and stock up on supplies before gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores close. Most of the state’s public schools and government officers are shuttered for the remainder of the week.

“Residents that don’t leave today will realize that nothing is open,” she said.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for all of the state’s 100 counties.

“This declaration will allow us to use further resources throughout the state to assist with the storm response here at home and to our neighboring states to the south,” the governor said in a statement.

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Hurricane Matthew: Millions Warned That ‘This Storm Will Kill You’ as Death Toll Rises in Haiti

ABC News(MIAMI) — Hurricane Matthew is taking aim at the Florida coast, with vicious 130 mph winds, potentially devastating storm surges and flooding from rain, prompting mass evacuations and dire warnings from officials.

The category 4 storm was blamed for at least 122 deaths in Haiti, according to the director of Haiti’s Department of Civil Protection. There were also two people missing and 91 injured there.

Now, the deadly storm is heading toward the east coast of the Sunshine State after making landfall in the Bahamas with 130 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters in Jacksonville warned of “worst case storm surge scenario” and said “if a direct impact occurs this will be unlike any hurricane in the modern era” as the outer bands of the storm lashed the state Thursday night.

“This storm will kill you,” Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference this morning, urging that “the time is now” to evacuate ahead of the Category 4 storm.

“This is life and death,” he added.

As of this afternoon, about 3.1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in three states. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville warned residents that “catastrophic damage” is anticipated for coastal areas and areas along the St. John’s River.

Forecasters say that because the track of the storm is parallel to the coast “it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one location,” the NWS said in its latest advisory at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

“Only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida and Georgia,” the NWS said. “Modest deviations to the right could keep much of the hurricane-force winds offshore.”

President Barack Obama, at Scott’s request, today declared an emergency in Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts. The move authorizes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Obama also signed a state of emergency declaration for South Carolina Thursday afternoon.

Others have echoed Obama’s and Scott’s urgency as the hurricane battered the Bahamas and strengthened over the warm waters of the Atlantic.

“The extreme winds of a major hurricane can do a lot of damage, and not just at the coast,” Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center, told Good Morning America.

“Those winds can penetrate inland, and that would be more so the case the closer it gets to the coast,” he warned. “In addition to the wind, you have storm surge potential. People who have been told to evacuate. They need to get out this morning, right away, because time is running out fast. You don’t want to be caught in the storm surge, which is the deadliest hazard of all.”

The governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency. Officials in three of those states have urged coastal residents to head to safer ground as the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic coast in more than a decade continued on its path northwest toward the United States.

Motorists clogged highways, homeowners boarded up windows, and anxious shoppers lined up at grocery stores and gas stations as they stocked up on emergency supplies in the threatened coastal areas.

Florida has about eight days worth of fuel for its citizens, Scott said, reminding them to “take only what you need.”

Matthew’s forecast track showed the hurricane making landfall or coming in close proximity of the shoreline on Friday morning.

The storm had weakened as it moved through the Caribbean but regained its strength.

If it makes landfall, Hurricane Matthew could be the strongest storm to hit the United States in more than a decade, ABC News meteorologists said.

“It is very rare to have a hurricane of this strength come this close or make landfall in the eastern part of central or northern Florida,” meteorologist Max Golembo said.

Up to 15 inches of rain may fall in some areas, and a storm surge of up to 11 feet was expected along the coast from central Florida to Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast and Georgia coast,” the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory issued today at 5 a.m. ET.

After a briefing with his homeland security team at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Obama told reporters Hurricane Matthew is “a serious storm, and we want everybody to take it seriously as well.”

“Just remember that you can always rebuild,” he said. “You can always repair property. You cannot restore a life if it is lost, and we want to make sure that we minimize any possible loss of life or risk to people in these areas.”

No other Atlantic storm on record has packed such powerful winds for such a prolonged period as Hurricane Matthew.

More than 377,000 people were evacuated in Cuba, according to the United Nations. And in Haiti, at least 350,000 people are in need of immediate assistance. There were reports of a powerful storm surge, violent winds and widespread flooding.

Matthew bore down on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas Thursday morning, the country’s most populous island, which has not seen a major hurricane since 1929.

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128 Animals Rescued From Suspected Puppy Mill in North Carolina, Officials Say

The Humane Society of the United States(NEW YORK) — Nearly 130 animals were recently rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Cabarrus County, NC, according to officials.

After receiving an anonymous complaint, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant on a property owned by 69-year-old Patricia Gail Yates last week, Sheriff Brad Riley told ABC News today.

Deputies discovered a total of 105 dogs, 20 cats and three goats living in “unsafe and unsanitary conditions” on Yates’ property, according to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which assisted with rescue efforts.

“Many animals had untreated medical issues, were pregnant and in need of urgent veterinary care,” HSUS said in a news release, adding that a temporary emergency animal shelter was immediately set up.

Half of the animals “had grade-four dental disease, which is the worst kind,” said HSUS Puppy Mill Response Manager Jessica Lauginiger.

“There were a lot of rotting, missing teeth and jaws,” Lauginiger told ABC News today. “There were rotting gums, holes in gums. It was really bad. One dog even had a ruptured eye that had to be removed.”

Despite the conditions the animals were rescued from, Lauginiger said she wasn’t surprised.

“Unfortunately, the conditions and the medical concerns in this case were very typical of what we’ve seen in large-scale breeding operations,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

But after more than a week of intensive surgeries, dental work and other intensive procedures, rescuers are finally seeing a silver lining.

“As of Wednesday, all the animals have made it through and are now out of the temporary emergency shelter,” Lauginiger said.

Various shelters and rescues have taken in the dogs, cats and goats, she said, adding that they are all now on the road to recovery and new homes.

Yates, was arrested on Sept. 26, the day the animals were seized, and faces several charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty, according to Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley.

Riley added that Yates has since been released from custody. She is awaiting a court hearing to answer to the charges.

The spokeswoman added that it was not immediately clear if Yates had obtained a lawyer. ABC News was not immediately successful in reaching Yates for comment today.

“Animal cruelty comes with serious consequence,” said Lt. David Taylor in HSUS’ news release. Taylor is one of the county’s sheriff’s deputies investigating the case.

“Our number one priority is the protection and safety of the animals, including their environment,” Taylor said. “In Cabarrus County we’re investigating claims and prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law. However, the investigation is just the beginning of the story. We are fortunate to have the support of The HSUS as we move forward with the response.”

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Hoboken Train Sped Up Before Crash, Emergency Brake Applied at Last Second, NTSB Says

ABC News(HOBOKEN, N.J.) — The train that crashed at the Hoboken, NJ station, killing one and injuring more than 100 last week, sped up in the seconds before crashing at the end of the track, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

The train’s event recorder indicates that approximately 38 seconds before the crash, while the locomotive was traveling at about 8 mph, the throttle was increased from idle to the No. 4 position.

The speed reached 21 mph and the emergency brake was deployed less than a second before the crash — too late to save the train from barreling over the bumping post.

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