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Operation Blessing Gives Hope to Desperate Irma Victims: 'We're Not in This Alone'

Operation Blessing Gives Hope to Desperate Irma Victims: 'We're Not in This Alone' Read Transcript

GARY LANE: Long lines of cars jammed highway one

as Florida Keys residents returned

to their homes for the first time

since Hurricane Rita battered southern Florida

with destructive category four winds.

1/4 of the homes in the Keys no longer exist.

In Northeastern Florida, people were trying

to recover from flood waters.

This is Jacksonville's popular River Walk area.

People enjoy coming down here and seeing a nice skyline view,

maybe conversing with friends and family along the river.

But not on this day.

Take a look at the St. John's River.

People say it has overflowed its banks.

It's about six feet above normal.

It's flowed into this area.

A popular statute known as the sailor statue, everyone

in Jacksonville knows this.

But less than 24 hours ago, this water

washed up to these buildings and throughout the streets

of downtown.

This is how the streets of downtown Jacksonville

looked Monday morning.

For most Floridians, electricity is the immediate concern

as they return to their homes.

Millions are still without power.

Crews from 30 states, utility workers

like this from New York, are volunteering their time

so Floridians won't have to sit in the dark

or suffer through 90 degree heat without air conditioning.

These guys jumped at the chance to return a favor to Florida.

We're also excited about kind of repaying back

some of the utilities that help us along super storm

Sandy in 2012.

GARY LANE: We caught up with Florida Senator Marco

Rubio in Jacksonville as he toured the state

assessing the damage.

What stood out as he surveyed the destruction?

The unique size and scope of hurricane Irma.

Usually, when someone has a hurricane hit a state,

you wonder what city, you know?

Did it hit Miami, did it hit Tampa, did it hit Jacksonville?

And the answer's yes, it hit them all.

GARY LANE: The Florida senator appeared appreciative

of first responders.

What were you praying and what is your prayer now?

Well, obviously, I was praying that it would

turn off and go somewhere else.

My second prayer, obviously, was that if it

were going to hit us, that it would not be the worst case


I also prayed for the people responding.

The people that were out there in the water

pulling people out, risking their own lives, who

were working 24 hour shifts while their families

were behind also weathering the storm.

Those are the people I hope we'll continue to remember

and treasure for what they did for us.

GARY LANE: These residents hard hit by the hurricane

were grateful for the help they received from CBN's Operation


Tuesday, the OB team spent the day in Naples,

providing people with food, water, and hygiene supplies.

As you can see behind me, we're at Mills of Hope

and this truck is being unloaded.

And as this truck is being unloaded,

there's a resident standing here waiting for food, water,

personal hygiene items.

GARY LANE: This Naples resident said, many people

are stuck inside their homes without food or water.

We got an alert on Facebook through Collier County

that Operation Blessing was given away food at 3:00 PM.

I'm like, wow, it's actually giving us food, water,

it's giving us a sign of hope that at least somebody's

out there looking out for us, you know?

We're not in this alone.

GARY LANE: Gary Lane, CBN News, Jacksonville, Florida.


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