National roundup: Rising temperatures raise threat of flooding near Buffalo

As temperatures near Buffalo rose above freezing Saturday, volunteers fanned out to help neighbors clear walls of snow that have paralyzed parts of the region this week. But the warming trend also raised the threat of flooding.

More than 200 volunteers, called the Shovel Brigade Mob, and headed into neighborhoods south of downtown Buffalo. The group said some residents were still stuck in their homes, days after a lake-effect snowstorm clobbered the region.

The massive snowfall, combined with forecasts of rain, raised fears that the roofs of homes and businesses could collapse under the weight, adding urgency to clearing efforts. The system, dubbed the “Knife Storm,” dumped about seven feet of snow in parts of western New York over three days .

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch Saturday, predicting rain and temperatures above 50 degrees in parts of the region for the next few days.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said an operation was underway to stockpile western New York with boats, helicopters, pumps and sandbags to battle flooding.

— Reuters

A man set his house on fire and then fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy and wounded another Saturday when they responded to the scene before he was shot to death by law enforcement officers, authorities said.

Deputies and firefighters responded to the blaze about 10:15 a.m. at the end of a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood just outside the Tallahassee city limits.

As the first deputy approached the house, he was fatally shot. The gunman picked up the deputy’s gun, walked down the street and used it to shoot a second deputy before he was killed, Lt. James McQuaig of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said.

It wasn’t known whether anyone was in the home when it was set on fire. The house was destroyed in the blaze.

The Sheriff’s Office said the suspect also fired on first responders arriving on the scene. They were not injured.

The wounded deputy’s injuries are not believed to be serious, said an official who had spoken to law enforcement officials handling the case. The names of the slain and wounded deputies were not released. The gunman has also not been identified.

— Associated Press

A woman featured in a reality TV show about a polygamous family is going public about sex abuse she says she suffered as a child.

Rosemary Williams of “My Five Wives” on TLC says she was molested more than two decades ago by her father, Lynn A. Thompson, and posted her claims in a blog. He is the leader of the one of largest organized polygamy groups in Utah, the Apostolic United Brethren.

Thompson said the allegations were not true when contacted by the Associated Press on Friday.

Rosemary Williams says her father fondled her when she was 12 years old. She told AP that she does not plan to file a criminal accusation or a lawsuit against her father. She says she wants to prevent him from abusing others and hopes to be an advocate for abuse victims in patriarchal societies, where families are often fearful to report crimes out of concern they may be prosecuted under polygamy laws.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is unaware of any formal complaints against Thompson, said spokeswoman Missy Larsen.

David Watson, a spokesman for the AUB, didn’t return phone calls. TLC did not respond.

— Associated Press

Marathon amputee leaves hospital: A woman injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing who recently had part of her left leg amputated was discharged from a rehab facility in Katy, Tex., on Saturday and has vowed to run the race next year. Rebekah DiMartino said she looks forward to getting her stitches out and being fitted for a prosthetic.

— Associated Press