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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Hurricane Irene Floodwaters Rising; Khamis Gadhafi Killed; Pan Am 103 Bomber Located; Joran Van Der Sloot accused of Murder in Peru; Do teenagers safe at Hephzibah House?
Aired September 1, 2011 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Gloria, thanks very much. Good evening. We begin with breaking news. Floodwaters still rising from Hurricane Irene, rivers and streams still cresting as we speak; entire towns submerged or destroyed. This didn't end when the wind died down. This was and continues to be a very big deal and water is the reason why.
You're looking at where the town of Prattsville, New York used to be. Prattsville, parts of it are gone. A town of about 600 people, parts of it washed away. Everyone got away safely, but they don't have much to return to.
This is what it looks like at ground level. The correspondent who shot this compared it to Joplin, Missouri, after the tornado. She was stranded by rising floodwaters. She joins us shortly, wtill stranded there, actually, tonight.
Irene dumped as much as a foot of rain on the northeast onto already waterlogged ground into already full rivers and reservoirs. Look at that truck trying to get through the water. That water has to go somewhere and it doesn't care what or who is in the way.
This scene in New Jersey where even big military trucks were having a hard time getting around. From Virginia to Vermont, rivers and streams are overflowing. Some now well above record flood levels or soon to be. Largely because of flooding, damage from Hurricane Irene could hit $7 billion making it one of the 10 most expensive disasters in American history. As many as five million people are still without power, five million people. Lines are down nearly everywhere Irene hit. Several people have been electrocuted, some have drowned.
A short time ago, the death toll rose to 27 when we learned of three new deaths in Vermont. We're going to have more on the danger shortly, but first how we got there.
(voice-over): Saturday morning, 7:30 a.m., Hurricane Irene makes landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.
Waves slammed the North Carolina coastline as the storm packs winds of up to 85 miles-an-hour.
(on camera): Take a look this way. Nothing but foam. The sea is absolutely white, just all churned up, whipped by this wind and, again, we're getting hit with some of those strong gusts, right now.
What you are looking at here is houses that are about underwater in places. And this is the Bogue Sound. You can see that. You're looking out, right now, at the Bogue Sound that has come inland, here. And there goes the camera, you can feel the wind and the rain. We have waves literally racing inland.
(voice-over): Irene drops more than 15 inches of rain here causing massive flooding before moving north. In Virginia, rivers swell, neighborhood streets fill with water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is normally a road but it has turned into a huge lake and it -- it's about -- it's a few blocks long and about three to four feet deep, that's way too deep for your car.
COOPER (voice-over): Irene is still a Category 1 hurricane when it hits New Jersey, early Sunday morning and the winds and driving rain pound the shoreline.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These waves are scary.
COOPER: In Long beach, New York, waves surged beyond sand barriers created to protect the city.
ROB MARCIANO, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You get a sense for the winds here on the coastline. This boardwalk, now, and it's breached it. And Street flooding, I can see, still a huge, huge issue.
COOPER (on camera): A very serious storm, a category one storm. There have been fatalities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa. Let's get out of here. Let's get out of here. Grab the mike.
COOPER (voice-over): New York City is spared the brunt of the storm, Only heavy rain and flooding in areas of lower Manhattan. But as Irene continues north, Vermont is pummeled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just woken up 15 minutes ago with a policeman knocking on my door telling me it was time to get out of town because we are flooded.
COOPER: Hotels and residents are quickly evacuated as waters through Brattleboro cresting the banks of the river.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like the Whetstone Brook is flooding up Route 9 in West Brattleboro and bridges are out. Main Street is closed, here in Brattleboro. Haven't seen it like this in a long time.
COOPER: With waters continuing to rise in rivers and creeks in many states, heavy flooding could be a major problem in the days to come.
Amazing how fast that water is moving. That's the breaking news, right now. Rivers still rising, Vermont faces the worst flooding since 1927, 260 roads affected. Numerous bridges -- look this one, including some straight off a picture postcard. It's one of those covered bridges just getting overcome with water. The water finally retreating in places, but still cresting, or yet to crest in others.
Gary Tuchman has been traveling throughout Vermont, joins us now from North Williston.
Gary, what's the situation, there?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we're in the northern part of Vermont near the state's biggest city of Burlington. And these are waters from the Winooski River, but we're nowhere near the Winooski River. The Winooski River is behind me about a quarter mile. This is a street. And the flooding in northern Vermont is just starting to crest as we speak, a day after the tropical storm came through.
But the worst damage and the worst devastation is not in the northern part of the state, it's in the south part of the state, where we spent much of the day, and that's where creeks and brooks became raging rapids, Hundreds of places that, in some cases were just ponds, where children used to swim, became rapids. And in three cases, there were fatalities. Three people dead in Vermont, another person is missing.
But, it was incredible, the sights we saw. At one particular place, we saw rapids going through a building, a building that had collapsed and was hanging precariously over the waters. Old timers we've talked to have never seen anything like this. The state hasn't seen flooding like this for more than eight decades.
Fortunately the waters receded in this southern part of Vermont, but many homes are flooded and what we see during these catastrophes, is the water recedes, but the problems don't, because many of the homes, hundreds of homes in the state of Vermont, are full of mud right now, and here in northern Vermont, as soon as the waters start to recede, the homeowners here will see their homes are full of mud, too and there are a lot of repairs to make.
You know, the state of Vermont, Anderson, is known for its skiing, it's known for its green mountains, but it's inland, it's on the Canadian border, it's not known for hurricanes and tropical storms and the people in this state are suffering greatly, today. Back to you.
COOPER: And Gary, I mean, how long has the water been at that height at that location?
TUCHMAN: Well, right now, it's really in the process of cresting. Within the next couple of hours, authorities believe it will diminish and they think by tomorrow all this water, and it's a huge amount of water with a strong current -- they think it will all be gone. That's what's amazing about hurricane and tropical storms, you see all this water and you can't imagine it disappearing, but it does. One of the cases where it didn't is where we spent a lot of time, Anderson, New Orleans, after Katrina. That was because of the levee failure. That water stuck around a long time. This water will disappear, but the mud will remain, the problems will remain for a long time.
COOPER: Yeah, no doubt about it. Gary, appreciate that update. Be careful out there.
A few hours west, a small town has suffered major damage. More video here of what -- of the area around Prattsville, New York. This is Prattsville, New York, a town established back in 1824. Briefly a boomtown thanks to local Hemlock trees which were used in leather processing. But until the flooding hit, there were a little bit more than 300 occupied homes in Prattsville. Right now that is anyone's guess how many homes might still be able to be occupied.
Correspondent, Megan Cruz, and her photographer, both from cable news (INAUDIBLE) YNN are responsible for the video you're seeing. I spoke to her a short time ago.
So Megan, you said last night this town looked like it had been wiped off the map.
MEGAN CRUZ, YNN REPORTER: Oh definitely. We arrived here, probably the late afternoon and we didn't know what Prattsville looked like. I mean, this is not in our usual coverage area, but when we came it was just all water. I would not have known that there was even an established community unless somebody said, you see that house here, there are supposed to be other houses around there.
COOPER: And you've been trapped there since last night, right?
CRUZ: I have. I have. Let me just give you an idea of the flooding, so you understand why we were probably trapped here last night. If you could just follow me over here.
Can you see where the Schoharie Creek is, right now? Imagine where I'm standing, that creek flooded to this point and actually a mile out of town, even more. So, definitely this is flooding that no one has seen here before. And yes, all the other smaller roads around this area have been flooded. So, we're being told that there is no way for us to get out.
COOPER: So, for residents there, I mean, what comes next? When will they be able to go back to their homes?
CRRZ: It's on a case-by-case basis. Some people, their homes have just been flooded, you know, throughout the basement, others, not so much, even more, actually. So, they are staying at some of the area's two shelters or they're staying with family and friends on higher ground. So, it's different for every person. But yes, I mean, a lot of people have been affected.
If you can see the video that we shot, I mean, this town has just been devastated. There are parts of the main street that there are plots of land that people are like, you know, there used to be a gas station there, there used to be a home there and all it is just land that's been completely swept away. So, right now it's just recovery on their mind.
COOPER: And at this point, have officials -- I mean, do they have a toll of how many properties have been destroyed, how many homes?
CRUZ: No, they're still serving the area. What they do know is that of the 800 residents in this town, all have been accounted for. They did have to rescue 31 people on Sunday, but in terms of people, they're fine, they're still evaluating the property.
COOPER: And you're going to stay there tonight, as well, for the same reason?
CRUZ: That's what I just heard. Our assignment desk just called me up and said they have spoken to the sheriff and that the roads around us have not been opened yet, so I don't know. I'm hoping that I can try to figure something out, but at this point, yes, it seems we might have to stay here another night.
COOPER: Well, it's great that they were able to rescue all the folks and that no one was -- lost a life or was really injured. Megan Cruz, good luck to you and your crew. Appreciate the work and thanks very much.
CRUZ: Thank you. No problem.
COOPER: All right, let's turn now to the bigger picture and where things go from here with Chad Myers in the CNN Weather Center.
So Chad, what does it look like?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Just an awful lot of flooding still to go, because now all of this water that's up a hill has to come down a hill. We have all these purple maps, now -- all these purple spots. I want you to be able to go tonight to something called water.weather.gov. And if you're in any of these areas where the water has to run downhill to get to the ocean or the sound, even whether it's New Jersey or up into Vermont or on up toward Lake Champlain, you can actually go there and see what your creek or stream is forecast to do. It's a great Web site, you might want to really take a hard look at what you might have to expect.
Something else people in North Carolina had no idea they were going to expect today -- tornadoes. Big storms, right now. Here's Raleigh, Goldsboro and all those tornadoes, spinning storms, headed toward the ocean, headed out toward the outer banks where they can't even get out of there, at this point in time.
The next thing I want to show you is what Rutland, Vermont looks like, can't even get out of town. I talked to our iReporters there, Mr. Ritter (ph) said can't get out of town at all, all the bridges are gone.
And then Tropical Depression No. 12. I know you wanted to hear about it. It's Katia. K-A-T-I-A, kah-tee-ah is the pronunciation. It replaced the name Katrina because it's the six year anniversary of Katrina, today, and they recycle names every six years, but not if they're a memorable storm and Katina obviously was, so that name will never come back. Tropical Depression 12, right now, forecasted to be a Category 2 hurricane in five days. Not that far from where Irene was, but this looks more like a right-turning gutter ball than a land- falling hurricane.
Obviously, Anderson, we all know about the forecasts, how they come and go, turn left and right. Still too early to tell. We'll keep watching.
COOPER: Yeah, well, let's hope. Chad, appreciate it.
You see the pictures, you hear the reporting and wonder what you can do. You can get involved if you want. Go to CNN.com/impact. We're going to give it to you again, CNN.com/impact if you want to help those in the affected areas.
We're going to stay on this story throughout the hour, update you on any new developments. Let us know what you think. We're on FaceBook, follow me on Twitter. @Anderson Cooper. I'll try to tweet something, tonight.
Up next, a CNN exclusive. In Libya. Nic Robertson locating the Pan Am 103 bomber. The one who was let out of prison to die, the oly person held responsible for the bombing of that plane for all those deaths, stayed alive for two years after being released from prison. He appears to be in pretty rough shape, right now. You'll hear what his family has to say about his outlook and what's happening in Libya.
Later, another villain on the critical list;: Self-proclaimed prophet and convicted sex offender, child rapist, Warren Jeffs, the latest on his condition. His condition has taken a turn for the worse. We'll tell you why he is now in a coma. He looks completely different than he did just a few weeks ago at trial. and whether the state can keep him alive against his will.
First let's check in with Isha Seshay -- Isha.
ISHA SESHAY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, new reports tonight in the disappearance of Robin Gardner who vanished in Aruba. Reports, the man she went there with made what sounds like a stunning admission. You'll see what we found out and what authorities are doing about it in "Crime and Punishment," That and more when "360" continues.
COOPER: A lot of late news out of Libya, tonight. Among the new developments, a claim that Khamis Gadhafi is dead, one of the dictator's sons. He was the former head of the regime's ruthless 32nd Brigade. That's a video of him visiting children in the hospital. Reportedly killed in battle. An opposition official making the claim saying that Khamis was wounded in battle near Misrata, died in a local hospital and was buried nearby.
Meantime, Gadhafi's wife, his daughter, Aisha, and two sons, Hannibal and Mohamed have fled to Algeria. That's according to the Algerian foreign ministry. The new Libyan government wants them back. They left behind a pretty decadent life for kids of a dictator who claimed to be a simple Bedouin.
Opposition fighters had Hannibal home uncovered case after case, hundreds of bottles of fine Bordeaux, crystal champagne. They also discovered the family's Ethiopian nanny, her body horribly burned. She's still alive. She said she was tied and tortured by Hannibal's wife who poured boiling water over her. She certainly looks like it. Her failing, she says, was refusing to beat Hannibal's toddler who wouldn't stop crying.
Separately, over the weekend, CNN's Nic Robertson managed to locate the Pan Am 103 bomber. Here is his report.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We found Abdel Basset al-Megrahi's villa in an up market part of town. At least six security cameras and flood lights outside.
(on camera): This Magrahi's house, this is where he's been living for the last couple of years. We're going to knock on the door, see if we can get any answer. Hello?"
(voice-over): For 15 minutes or so, nothing.
(on camera): I'm not sure if they've heard me, so let's try the last ditch means, which is just shout over the wall.
Hello? Hello? Hello?
(voice-over): Then all of a sudden, someone comes. Nothing prepares me for what I see. Megrahi apparently in a coma, his aging mother at his side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just give him oxygen and nobody give us the advice and some food by injection.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Mmm-hmm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you see, his body is weak.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): He'd been expected to die almost two years ago, but convicted Pan Am 103 bomber, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, lives, only just.
This wasn't the way he looked when he was released from a Scottish jail two years ago. He came home to a hero's welcome, freed on compassionate grounds because doctors said he'd be dead in three months.
COOPER: The only man in Libya held responsible for that bombing, so far. Nic Robertson joins us from Tripoli along with our own Arwa Damon. Arwa, you mention Gadhafi's son Khamis, who commanded that feared militia in Libya, reportedly, according to opposition, he's been killed. Do we know anything about the circumstances surrounding his alleged death? Because, as you know, opposition forces have claimed, you know, before they've captured or killed people and it turns out not to be the case.
ARWA DAMON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. In fact they claimed Khamis had been killed on a number of occasions and that most certainly turned out not to be true. What they are now saying is that he was killed in battle on Sunday around 40 miles to the southeast of Tripoli. They say hat they buried his body in the desert, but they've put forward no real evidence, there's no images to corroborate their claims, whatsoever. They have in the past made allegations that certain members of Gadhafi's family had been detained. They then came out and admitted that that was part of the psychological warfare. So, until there is concrete evidence that he was in fact been killed, this most certainly should be treated with a certain level of skepticism, Anderson.
COOPER: So Nic, other members of the Gadhafi family have fled to Algeria. Do we know how they were able to get there? Because it's not just women in the family, there's also two Gadhafi sons -- Mohamed and was it Unis (ph), I think his name is.
COOPER: Hannibal, I'm sorry.
ROBERTSON: Mohamed and Hannibal and their children fled, yeah. And mostly, I think, most people here believe Gadhafi and a lot of his family were in the south of the country and will have just driven westward to the border with Algeria. The crazy thing, if you like, about the situation right now, Algeria is the only country around here that still recognizes Gadhafi as the legitimate ruler here, and they say that they've taken the family in on humanitarian grounds. But already the National Transition Council here says we want them back, we want to put them on trial -- unspecified charges, so far. And beyond that, they say if Algeria doesn't hand them back, they'll treat it as an act of aggression against the will of the Libyan people. They're really drawing a line in the sand, here. It's almost you get the impression, and if you think the same Arwa, you get the impression that they don't want Moammar Gadhafi and anyone else going out there. It's a message to Algerians, too.
COOPER: Yeah, and Arway, I mean, this guy, Hannibal, and also Mohamed, the sons, I mean, we've seen a number of sons like Saif, the son who's now, Khamis, who's allegedly been killed, who have a very active role in the military, in militia, in the government. Do we know much about these two sons? Are these sort of the playboy sons? I mean, I know there were a bunch who used to, yuk, gave a lot of money to American entertainers to perform in St. Bart's and clubs. Are these kind of, people wo were just living off the state or getting a lot of money from businesses, doing and kind of traveling around the world? Were they kind of playboys? DAMON: It would appear to be the case. I mean, Hannibal himself, has had a number of instances where there have been allegations that during various visits to Europe he was beating up police officers. On a number of occasions he was also accused of beating up, breaking his wife's nose, even.
As for Mohamed, he is, if I'm not mistaken, Gadhafi's oldest son, from a different mother than Hannibal, as well. Neither of these two sons have any charges, at this stage, brought against them in the International Criminal Court. Algeria is saying that it is allowing these specific family members access to the country on humanitarian grounds, but again, as Nic was mentioning, this most certainly is something that the National Transitional Council does not want to be an option for Gadhafi or for any of his other family members, like Siaf, like Khamis. They do not want to see them running away to Algeria and escaping justice.
COOPER: And we'll show you pictures of Hannibal's home that are (INAUDIBLE), it's now been occupied by opposition members. And you interviewed the nanny who had been, she said she had been badly burned with boiling water from Hannibal's wife because she refused to beat their little toddler son, quite a scene there.
Nic, you also had these remarkable images. You got into the home of the the Lockerbie bomber who was released by the Scottish government two years ago. He looked in really bad shape. I mean, I feel like I had seen pictures of him a few months ago in which he was visible or he was at some sort of an event. It looks like he's declining very quickly. I mean, was that legitimate? Are those real? You don't think -- he wasn't faking it while you were there, was he?
ROBERTSON: You know, when you go into a situation like that you always think in the back of your mind, are they faking it? I saw Megrahi two years ago, he was about 10 feet from me, he was on a stage, this was an event just after he came back into Libya. He looked much better back then than he does now. And I really got the impression that his family were tense, nervous, the -- you got the impression that they were very low at that moment, really just sort of sitting in the room there, waiting for him, in a way, to die, if you will. And he didn't look -- I mean, I kept looking. I went back and looked at the video, did his eyes move, how was his head on the pillow, did it look like the pillow had been there for a long time? But really, when you looked at his skin, it looked very thin. When you looked at his wrists they looked very thin. This did seem to be a man who is perhaps on his last days. But not being a doctor, not doing proper medical checks, you cannot sort of say with a hundred percent certainty his real state of health here, Anderson.
COOPER: And do -- I know the U.S. still thinks that Megrahi should be behind bars. The National Transitional Council said over the weekend they wouldn't extradite him, but it does seem they're kind of backtracking now, aren't they?
ROBERTSON: Well, they've left a bit of wiggle room, here. They've said, look, OK, when a government is actually formed then they can decide and determine, here. But there does seem to be a sort of a political element. They want Megrahi's tribe to join the National Transition Council; they want them away from Gadhafi. Gadhafi went to great lengths to bring Megrahi back to Libya because Megrahi is from an important, powerful tribe. Gadhafi wanted to keep him on side. And right now the National Transitional Council seems to be wanting to win over Megrahi's tribe and this is certainly one positive way that they can do it, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, two questions, Arwa, very quickly, I hear gunfire behind. Is that celebratory or is there still fighting going on? And also, you were taken to a compound in Tripoli where there were 150 or so civilian bodies or what looked like civilian bodies. What was that?
DAMON: Yeah, first of all, the gunfire most definitely is celebratory, it has been going on for quite some time, now, ever since the rebels took over most of Tripoli. It is also the beginning Eid, the celebration at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Now that location you were talking about, Anderson, it was absolutely chilling. What it is, it was a small warehouse around 30 by 45 feet, located on the back end of Khamis's brigade head quarters, his military brigade headquarters. We spoke to a survivor who said that he had been picked up along with his brother for no apparent reason, he was held there for 18 days. There were people who were there for up to six months. There were 175 of them crammed inside this tiny warehouse. One day the guards said that they were going to be released and then that same day, at sunset the door opened. Everybody inside thought that the guards were going to be making good on their word, that they were going to finally be set free. One of the survivor said that they threw a grenade inside the room, they began opening with gunfire, indiscriminately just spraying these people who were trapped inside. He managed to make a run for it. And it wasn't until a few days later when residents in the area felt safe enough to go back to that warehouse. And when they opened the door, Anderson, they found the burnt, charred remains of what volunteers are telling us was up to 150 people that appeared to have burnt to death, perished inside that tiny room.
ANDERSON: Oh. I wish I could say it's unbelievable, but it's not, it's all too believable given what we've already seen of Gadhafi's regime. Nic Robertson, Arwa Damon, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
Still ahead, Syria losing the support of a key ally given its continued violent crackdown against anti-government protesters. And there were more deaths today at the hands of security forces. We'll show you the videos.
Also the latest on the health of that polygamist leader, Warren Jeffs. Why he is listed in critical condition, tonight, in a Texas hospital. Now, these pictures you're looking at are from his trial, they're weeks old. We're going to show you a picture of him in prison that's pretty shocking. His followers, however, remain committed to him. We'll look at that, ahead.
COOPER: The devastation in several northern states after hurricane Irene is becoming more evident as the days go by. In Vermont, FEMA is making federal aid available after President Obama declared disaster in the state. Officials are making progress on fixing roads to some isolated towns. And the National Guard is trying to help bring in supplies.
Vermont got some of the worst flooding from the storm, as did upstate New York, where a group of communities 50 miles south and west of Albany has been designated. Residents of the town of Prattsville say they have had flooding before, but it's never been like this. People are now homeless, family owned businesses destroyed. Two brothers have been running a gas station that has been in the family for generations. They don't know what to do next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIPP O'HARA, OWNER, O'HARA SERVICE: We have nothing left. There is absolutely nothing there but concrete, the concrete slab.
KORY O'HARA, OWNER, O'HARA SERVICE: Do you want to rebuild. As you can see, the land cannot there. We have no land to put our business on. It's gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Earlier I spoke with Matt Cangelosi, a volunteer firefighter from Prattsveille who has been helping with the recovery effort.
COOPER: Matt, you say you've never seen destruction like this before.
MATT CANGELOSI, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER, PRATTSVILLE, NEW YORK: For my last 23 years of my life that I have lived, I have never seen destruction from mother nature, one-on-one, firsthand like this before.
COOPER: I mean, the pictures that I'm seeing, it looks like a tornado has come through the town.
CANGELOSI: Yes. It really does. It looks like all the trailers and all the homes were picked up and moved a good 100 yards or more, depending on what part of town you're in.
COOPER: And it looks like a lot of homes have just been completely destroyed.
CANGELOSI: Without a doubt. All of main street, the homes either have moved off their foundations or completely just caved in itself. COOPER: And al of that is from water?
CANGELOSI: All that was from water. I mean, we - on the news it shows Henry County that had dumped about 13.3 inches within just a few hours.
COOPER: Was water coming from other places? Or was it just the amount of rainfall in the town?
CANGELOSI: That's because of where we are we're in the mountains. So there was a lot of runoff from the mountains that were coming down through the streams that were running into the main creek that runs through our town. We had another creek that comes from the Windham area down towards Pratt. And then we also have this creek that comes from hunter that comes down to Pratt. So, kind of all bottlenecked right down towards our town.
COOPER: And you're a volunteer firefighter. You must be now working around the clock. What kind of stuff have you been doing?
CANGELOSI: What we've been doing is trying to get out a lot of supplies, water, food, you know, any type of rations that Red Cross has brought in, National Guard has brought in, and getting them out to people that can't access the center of town.
We've been taken a utility four wheelers and other vehicles to get through certain areas and to try and cross bridges that have been un- safe for vehicles other than hammer or other vehicles that could get through the other side.
COOPER: Right now, what are the biggest priorities?
CANGELOSI: We've been going around now. Our job has been going around making sure that the houses are safe to get in for people to get their stuff out. The water rose up to the first floor in every house on main street. So once you pumped out their basements and everything, now the job is to get all the furniture that was ruined out on to the streets, or close to the street to where we are anyone to pick it up and put it in containers and get it out of here so we can start rebuilding again.
COOPER: I know. Matt Cangelosi, I appreciate you calling in. And good luck to you and keep doing what you're doing. Our best to everybody in town.
CANGELOSI: Thank you. Thanks a lot. We really appreciate it.
COOPER: Well, Isha Sesay has some of the other stories we're following. She joins us when the "360" news and bulletin. Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, forecasters are predicting a low-pressure system off Mississippi's coast will become a tropical storm tomorrow and dump up to 15 inches of rain in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. BP and Exxon Mobil are evacuating their rigs in the gulf and have already shut down the wells.
Meantime, hurricane Katia has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it is expected to strengthen again over the next 24 to 36 hours. Tonight it's less than a thousand miles east of the northern Leeward islands.
President Obama will now unveil his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. The president's first choice Wednesday conflicted with a GOP presidential debate, and House Speaker Boehner objected.
And in Congresswoman Gabby Gifford's hometown county in Arizona, the republican party is defending its upcoming raffle of a gloc (ph) hand gun. It's the same make that Jared Loughner was charged and was used to shoot Gifford's in the head as she was meeting with constituents earlier this year. Six people died in the attack. The head of the county's democratic party called the fundraising raffle upsetting. It seems a little odd to me.
COOPER: Well, time now to look at the shot. We're going to file this under dog days of summer I guess. We found it on you tube. A clever puppy staying cool. Take a look.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: I could watch the dog's ears flap all day.
SESAY: He is being dreaming about. Oh, he's kind of got a good spot there.
COOPER: He's smart. He's no fool.
SESAY: He is adorable, no doubt about it. But of course you got us thinking about a certain shar-pei (ph), remember? And his napping habits.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SESAY: It never gets old.
COOPER: I know. Did we just play the other day?
SESAY: Yes, we did.
COOPER: Yes, we're already recycling because we like it so much. That's al right, why not.
All right, we'll check in with Isha a little bit later on. More serious stuff ahead on "360" investigation report. Ungodly discipline. Some very disturbing allegations of harsh abuse and brainwashing even at a fundamentalist Baptist home for so-called troubled teens. Some former residents call it a house of horrors. We'll try to find out the truth.
Plus, a major development in the case against Joran Van Der Sloot. He was never charged in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. But tonight in Peru, he is now officially accused killer.
COOPER: Welcome back. Up close our "360" investigation in ungodly discipline. We've been looking into a network of Christian reform schools that cater the fundamentalist Baptist churches. Now, these group homes were so-called trouble teens can be traced back to Texas Radio Evangelist Wrestler Rolloff who founded the Rebecca Home for girls back in 1967. He may occur to this used a girls singing group, the honeybee quartet to promote the home.
COOPER: Well, despite the marketing pitch, Rolloff's homes for girls faced multiple allegations of abuse over the years. And now decades later, another home that grew out of that same tradition is facing some similar allegations. Here is Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm about to meet a man who I know doesn't want to talk to me.
My name is Gary Tuchman with CNN.
We know that because Don Williams and his father Ron had already told news an e-mail they would not comment about abuse that allegedly happened for many years on the secluded property in the Northern Indiana town of Wynonna lake.
The house is a self-described fundamentalist Baptist boarding school and church for adolescent girls. The allegations are so disturbing we felt we need a face-to-face meeting with the father or the son in charge. We found the son in a parking lot.
We've had a lot of people complain that they have been physically, emotionally abused at your house. Can you give awes comment about that?
DONALD WILLIAMS, HEPHZIBAH HOUSE: Well, I would rather not.
TUCHMAN: Our conversation did not end there. But first, let us introduce you to Susan Grotte, who is now 45, but spent two and a half years there starting when she was 15.
SUSAN GROTTE, FORMER, HEPHZIBAH HOUSE STUDENT: It was going to be gardening and crafts and singing and just a chance to heal.
TUCHMAN: So that's what your parents thought the school was going to be.
GROTTE: That's right. TUCHMAN: Was it in any way correct?
GROTTE: No, no. And I knew that the minute the door shut behind me.
TUCHMAN: On her first day in this house, which was the facility used back then, Susan says she was accused of having a bad attitude while cleaning the ceiling. So two staff women grabbed her and Don Williams' father administered what she said was known as godly discipline.
GROTTE: Bodily manhandled me to the floor. And he hit me with a board as hard as he could. He is a very big man. And I was shocked. I cuddled my whole life I'd never been hit like that.
TUCHMAN: Me chelle Dowling is 20 years old. She just got out of Hephzibah House a few years ago. Her parents thought that the strict religious curriculum would make her a better Baptist.
MICHELLE DOWLING, FORMER HEPHZIBAH HOUSE STUDENT They told me that you know it would be good for me and I would make good life-changing decisions.
TUCHMAN: Me chelle was only 12 and brand-new in the house when she says two staff members told her to take off her clothes and forced her into the closet where a man would give what the Hephzibah House claims is a medical examination.
DOWLING: They held both of my legs and both of my arms down and let him do this to me. He stuck a speculum inside of me. And I was scared. I was screaming and I didn't want him to touch me. And there was nothing I could do.
TUCHMAN: Both women talk about being forced to eat a lot of food, sometimes not being given any food, being forced to drink a lot of water. Susan says, 28 girls shared three bedrooms on the upper floor of this house. There was one toilet. But -
GROTTE: If I stood up to go to the bathroom, no, you can only go to the bathroom when you're told.
TUCHMAN: The girls you were with.
TUCHMAN: What would happen if you would go to the bathroom?
GROTTE: You would be paddled.
DOWLING: I would wet the bed every night I was there. And they would make a spectacle of you. You were this horrible person for doing this. Ended up having to wear pull-ups ever night. They would watch me put it on and make me show it to them when I would take it off in the morning.
R TUCHMAN: It's been a long time. Lots of people complained about getting beaten, emotionally tormented, emotionally tormented all in the name of religion. And as a lot of us who are very religious don't believe in hitting people and tormenting them and having them wear diapers and making them drink and eat things. And I want to know why you do that?
WILLIAMS: I prefer not to comment, sir.
TUCHMAN: Why can't you comment? If you believe in what you do, this is your chance to tell our viewers.
WILLIAMS: I understand that. I prefer not to.
TUCHMAN: If you can tell me why. I'm asking very respectfully, why don't you want to tell us?
WILLIAMS: Well, I'm respectfully declining.
TUCHMAN: Don Williams is also the pastor at the church on the Hephzibah House grounds. A former Church goer gave CNN a CD sold by the church in which Williams is apparently preaching his views about who is to blame when a male whistles at a female.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: If you girls are walking down the sidewalk and some fellas drive by and they whistle, you better stop and think about that. What drew that whistle? Was it the way I was walking? Or maybe the way I was dressed or whatever? Did I do something to defraud those men?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Hephzibah Web site features innocuous pictures of girls who attended and claims there are no spankings or any out of the ordinary punishments. This facility has been around for about four decades. It seems to be a thriving enterprise. As you can see, the people in charge don't particularly want to answer my questions. Be we're not alone. They don't really answer to the government either.
In Indiana, group homes operated by churches and religious ministries are exempt from licensure. So nobody in the government even knows what is going on behind closed doors. The women say their parents also had no idea what was going on in there.
In the 15 months you were in this house, how many times did you leave the grounds?
DOWLING: Never. Never.
TUCHMAN: The Indiana governor's office says there is nothing it can do. The attorney general's office says it doesn't have jurisdiction. The same thing with the Indiana department of education.
Notably, though, the Indiana department of child services says it could investigate, providing there was a current complaint. And not from someone who already walked out the door. But we have talked to more than a dozen women who say they were victimized at Hephzibah house. And they say they could never make any private phone calls or send uncensored letters while on the inside.
Hephzibah house is not the only facility of its kind. Across the country, victim advocates say there are an unknown but large number of similar programs.
DOWLING: I have nightmares about it all the time. Like very vivid dreams like I'm trapped inside of this house again and I can't get out. And like the only thing I want is to run out a door. And for some reason I can't.
GROTTE: I think I fantasized about suicide those first years out.
TUCHMAN: We wanted to give Williams one last chance to answer the allegations. Is it true or it is not? It's either yes or no question.
WILLIAMS: It's not true.
TUCHMAN: So they're lying to us?
WILLIAMS: See, that's where you're trying to get me backed into a corner. It's their word against mine.
TUCHMAN: We were not permitted to take video on Hephzibah house property, but we did walk up the front steps and ring the bell. Well saw a girl hustle back into the home. We saw girls through the windows, but nobody would answer the door.
COOPER: Are officials in Indiana really powerless to at least even investigate or stop by?
TUCHMAN: No. The governor today or the governor 40 years ago wanted to lobby this the legislature, the attorney general, they absolutely could do so, but they have chosen not, to despite the fact we have talked to more than a dozen women ages 18 to 50, different generations who all say they have experienced the same thing.
COOPER: Can the federal government do anything?
TUCHMAN: Yes. Congress is considering passing legislation to help stop child abuse in boarding school facilities. It passed the house. This was three years ago, but it died in a Senate committee and it has never been reintroduced.
COOPER: Interesting. Gary, appreciate the reporting. Thanks very much.
Tomorrow Gary is going to have much more on the story in a special hour-long record called ungodly discipline, inclusion of faith and family and the law. That's tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Up next, Joran van der Sloot charged with murder in Peru, accused in killing a young woman at a hotel. And the prosecutor wants his punishment ahead.
Plus, massive waves hitting people who are brave or crazy enough to gather to watch them. We'll tell you where and why this happened.
And later, t-shirt trouble for JCPenney. A message on a shirt for girls, "I'm too pretty to do homework." Drawn fire and landing on our ridiculist.
COOPER: Coming up, the t-shirts that have JCPenney on the defensive, the ones for your daughter that say, quote, "I'm to pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." The fashion disaster lands on the ridiculist.
But first Isha is back with the "360" bulletin. Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, Peruvian authorities have formally charged Joran van der Sloot with the murder of a young woman in a lima hotel in May 2010. More than a year after he was arrested as a suspect in the case. Prosecutors are asking for a 30-year prison sentence and demand he pay $73,000 in restitution to the family of Stephany Flores, the victim. Van Der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance Natalee Holloway but he was never charged in that case.
Texas prisoner state polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs is out of intensive care and in a general hospital bed. The convicted child rapist fell early this week while fasting behind bars.
A deal to shore up the finances of the struggling New York METS has fallen apart. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn (ph) has pulled out of his plans to invest $200 million in the baseball team. Among the team's financial troubles, METS owners invested millions in Bernie Madoff's firm and are now being sued for property off the massive ponzi scheme.
Massive tidal waves, some nearly 60 feet high crashed ashore. The waves slammed into spectators who gathered to look at the annual phenomenal known as astronomical tide. The waves were larger this year due to a typhoon.
And Anderson, in Southern Florida, a 90-year-old woman had to get her left leg amputated after an eight-foot-long alligator attacked her and tried to drag her into a canal. She was saved by a man who was driving by the canal and saw what was happening. He shot the alligator behind the eyes and it crawled back into the water. Authorities don't know if it's alive or dead.
COOPER: That's crazy.
SESAY: Absolutely insane. Apparently it came out of the water three times to pull this woman back in.
COOPER: Wow. And they move really fast.
SESAY: They move really, really fast. And did you know that the more reports of this kind of activity at this time of year. Did you know that?
COOPER: Oh really? Like alligator attacks increase? Really?
SESAY: Well, they say that according to the spokesman of the state's fish and wildlife conservation commission, she says alligators are most active at this time of year while water levels are high.
COOPER: Are you talking to an alligator? Are you looking down at an alligator?
SESAY: Yes, I'm looking at a little alligator telling me all this stuff.
COOPER: All right. Let's check in with Piers Morgan to look what's coming up tonight on Piers' show. Piers?
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, MORGAN TONIGHT: Thanks Anderson. Tonight with the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks looming, I'll talk to man who says America has moved on. The greatest threat to the country now might be the economy, not terrorists. Frank Rich, "New York" magazine columnist is here.
Also ask him why he thinks president Obama may be a one-term president, and why he calls Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann a blast.
Plus, Josh Groban, as you have never seen performing before. Singing my tweet' just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH GROBAN, SINGER: this parrot is the most amazing animal you've ever seen. Amazing
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Amazing indeed. Anderson, you might sing yours if you play, right?
COOPER: Piers, that's a desperate attempt to increase your twitter followers by having Josh Groban sing your tweets. That's terrible.
MORGAN: I don't know if you have noticed, but I'm beginning to catch you up rather quickly.
COOPER: Oh really? I'm sweating.
MORGAN: If your viewers would like to focus on @piersmorgan, we could take you down by Christmas.
COOPER: Take me down by Christmas. As I recall, you set a three- month deadline for surpassing me, and I believe the clock is ticking.
MORGAN: In that case, I'll crack on tonight. Just be wary, Anderson. I'm coming for you.
COOPER: All right. I'm sweating there, piers. Thank you very much. We'll watch in about ten minutes from now.
The t-shirt that dares to ask the question, can a girl be too pretty to do homework? The outrage over this shirt comes in one size only, extra large. The ridiculist is next.
COOPER: Time now for the ridiculist. And tonight we're adding JCPenney.
No, you may have heard the store was selling a t-shirt for girls just in time for back to school and blazed in with this putt think proclamation. "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me." The shirt was for sale in the JCPenny Web site and the description said who has time for homework when there is a new Justin Bieber album that is out? She'll love this t-shirt that is just as cute and sassy as she is.
That's right JC, let's pretend it's 1971 in all the little ladies are cute and sassy. No surprise, these shirts caused some moral outrage. A lot of moral outrage, more than you would probably think possible from a comfy jersey made of washable and imported cotton.
People were not at all comfy with its message. There was an online petition, twitters on this were over floated and JCPenney panic caved quickly. Here is the statement.
"We agree that the too pretty t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message and we have immediately discontinued its sale. We would like to apologize to our customers and are taking action that we continue to uphold the integrity of the merchandise that they have come to expect."
Now this debate comes down to two factions, basically. The vast majority of people who say the t-shirt has hideous message for girls. Of course, there are a few people who say let's bring the t-shirt back and make all the girls wear it, like a school uniform. Let's make all the boys where I'm with stupid t-shirt with the arrow pointed at the girl. Throw maybe some no fat chick t-shirt and all the teachers call it a day. And granted, and thankfully that's a very, very small amount of people.
Now, the same people what see some of the senn nan begans (ph) on toddlers and ty yarras (ph) probably see it as a how to about installing values.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE KID: This goes like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does.
When she wears the fake boobs and the fake butt, it's like an extra bonus. When she comes out on stage, everybody thinks it's hysterical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes, fake boobs on a 4-year-old. It's hysterical. Girls need to know that life is not all about beauty and brains are important too. Because you can make to it the miss teen competition without education and maps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some people out there in our nation don't have maps. And I believe that our education, such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere such as, and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Overtime. So people are calling the "I'm too pretty to do homework" t-shirt the worst t-shirt in the world. I assume that's including South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as. But now that the offending t-shirt has been yanked from the shelves, girls are going to have to make do with the other shirts JCPenney sales. And don't worry, they have a lot of them like my best subjects, boys, shopping, music, dancing shirt. There is also the "I love bling" shirt for girls. And "what I love, cupcake, puppies, shopping, peace, my bff".
To those who think these shirts are not great for girls' self-esteem, well the boys don't have any easier. Here is what they're stuck with. "Winning isn't everything". "It's just what I do". "I'm the rock star of this family'. "Coolest kid ever."
Do you know what kind of pressure that is, living up to the title coolest kid ever, while simultaneously pursuing your career in the music industry? Really. Now let me get this straight. The boys have to do homework, be winner, while the girls get to go shopping with their bffs and sit around fawning over puppies and cupcakes. Is that fair, JCPenney? Not fair at all.
Nevertheless, congratulations on becoming the official t-shirt supplier of the ridiculist.
That's it for "360". Thanks for watching us. We will see again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Here's Morgan tonight, starts now.