- Welcome to FaithNation, I'm Jenna Browder.
- And I'm John Jessup.
Well what was once a categoryfour storm of a lifetime
has weakened to a category one
before making landfall earlier today.
- Jennifer Wishon reports onthe path of hurricane Florence.
- Hurricane Florence collidedwith the coast around 6:00 am.
Slamming into Wilmington, North Carolina.
Packing wind gusts of 105 miles per hour
and demonstrating she's no lady.
In New Bern, North Carolina150 people had to be rescued
from rising flood waters.
- Surviving this storm willbe a test of endurance,
teamwork, common sense, and patience.
- [Jennifer] In South Carolina,
another state in thehurricane's cross hairs.
- Proverb 6: 6-8 says--
- [Jennifer] Emergencyofficials turn to the Bible
and pray to God.
- Help us to use this eventas a rallying point for unity.
Help keep us safe, oh Lord,
help us to honor and praise you
even in the midst of the storm.
- Florence is expected to dump
some 20 inches of rain on Myrtle Beach.
Its churning storm surges up to 10 feet,
and further inland rivers are already
overflowing their banks.
In mountainous regionsofficials warn of mudslides.
Power outages are widespread tonight.
Some 40,000 power workers from 17 states
are mobilizing to respond.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of people
across the Carolinas and Virginia
are weathering the storm in shelters.
Once these winds start blowingat that tropical storm rate
it will be virtuallyimpossible for the rescuers
to get in to rescue you.
- [Jennifer] PresidentTrump says he's confident
that the Federal Governmentis ready to respond.
Many in the storms path are holding on
to the promise that they're not alone.
- Help us to remember that the same God
that created the heavens and the earth,
that this same God that is with us
and will see us through the storm.
We ask all these things inYour gracious name, Lord.
- [Jennifer] Jennifer Wishon, CBN News.
- Well James Joseph is asenior administrator with FEMA.
He joins us now with more.
James, thanks so much for being here.
- Good morning.
- What's one thing you want Americans
who will be directly impactedby the storm to know?
- Well the first thisis everyone's focused on
that the hurricane hasdropped to a category one
and they think that we're outof the waters, but we're not.
There's a devastating amount of rain,
high wind surges thatwe're gonna be seeing,
wind gusts that we're gonna be seeing.
And we've already startedseeing in some areas
as this hurricane made landfall,
nine to 12 feet of storm surge.
That's deadly, very dangerous storm surge.
And for those that evacuated,
we appreciate all of thosethat heeded the warnings
of state and local officials to evacuate.
But now we've got first responders
that are putting their ownlives at an additional risk.
They're already at risk on a daily basis,
but at additional risk trying to make
some of these risky rescue operations.
So for those that are being impacted now
by the heavy winds and this rainfall,
shelter in place and call 911
if and only if it's an absolute emergency.
- James, this year'sexpected to be a busy,
above average year for storms.
We saw it last year with the one-two punch
after Harvey and then Maria.
Do you think the government is prepared
for what may be coming after Florence?
- Yeah, I think we are.
Even when we look at 2017,
FEMA published an After Action Report
several months ago citingwhat worked very well
from our response, but also what some
of the lessons are that weneed to implement immediately
and we did so prior tothis hurricane season.
So we're focused right now
on lifeline critical infrastructure
as the Federal Governmentlooking at what are
the things that people needfrom a recovery perspective,
that the communities needfrom a recovery perspective.
But this is a team effort.
Every event starts at the local level
and ends at that local level.
So we're working withstate and local partners
to assist them in their response
as we're in the midstof this storm right now.
The heavy rains we'regonna see for several days
and also in the recovery, inthe aftermath of this event.
- [John] James, thankyou for your time today
and also thank you for everything
the agency's doing to help Americans.
- [James] Thank you, God bless.
- Well Erik Rosales has spent the week
reporting from North Carolina,
one of the states that has been preparing
and is now really seeingthe brunt of the storm.
Erik, what are you seeingwhere you're at right now?
- Well I tell ya, lots of wind and rain.
We're experiencing wind gusts
of up to 30 to 40, even 50 miles an hour
and it's just keeping the car
very, very tough to control on the road.
Right now we're on our way to Wilmington.
We're currently in Lumberton,North Carolina right now
and where we're seeing quitea bit of flooding taking place
in Lumberton, North Carolina.
But I tell you what, nothinglike what's taking place
along the North Carolina coast line
where the surge they sawanywhere from 10 feet of water.
We have reports that a number of homes
all the water's is all the wayup to the second floor there
and evacuations are actually taking place
in New Bern, North Carolina,just to the north of us.
Some 200 people have been rescued
and emergency crews tell CBN News
that another 150 have to be rescued,
but they're gonna have to wait it out
just a little bit longer until the storm--
But as you take a look at these trees,
you can get a better picture of how fast
these winds are going right now.
But we're gonna continue on our way
to Wilmington where the eye of the storm
came on at about seveno'clock this morning.
So we're gonna bring you thosepictures a little bit later.
- Erik, really appreciatethe work that you
and photojournalist Mario Gonzales
are doing out there.
We know you're taking allthe necessary precautions.
I wonder though, in yourvisits throughout the state,
are other people takingthe necessary precautions?
Are they taking this storm seriously?
- A number of people aretaking the storm seriously.
We're not seeing too many peopleon the roadways right now,
just emergency crews and18-wheelers bringing in supplies.
But we did talk to a numberof people just outside,
and there's another wind gust right there,
we did talk to a number of people outside,
they were outside their homes
and they said they're gonna hunker down,
and they're gonna stay inside,
and they have all thenecessary precautions
from generators, to water, to food.
- Alright Erik Rosalesfor us in North Carolina.
Thank you so much, Erik, stay safe.
- Local officials alongthe southeast coast
have been prepping folks for the hurricane
throughout the week.
- For more on that we turn
to CBN News White Housecorrespondent, Ben Kennedy.
- Well hey, John and Jenny,
just heard James talk about how crews
are keeping a prettyclose eye on the radar
having teams on the ground to pinpoint
where help is needed most.
Hurricane Florence madelandfall at about 7:15 am
as a category one.
But FEMA wants people to notjust focus on the number,
but the impact 'cause thisstorm plans to stick around.
It's moving slowly at six miles an hour
and during that pace,will drop lots of water
which will no doubtlead to major flooding.
- This is only the beginning.
Florence is a very slow mover,
will continue to trekalong the North Carolina
and South Carolina coastlinefor the next 24 to 36 hours.
It will not get toColumbia, South Carolina
until Sunday, midnight morning.
- [Ben] And CBN's NationalSecurity correspondent,
Erik Rosales, is seeing thisfirst hand on the ground.
Crews are working overtime to get people
to higher ground and to safety.
President Trump Tweeted out,
"Incredible job being done by FEMA,
First Responders, Law Enforcement and all.
President Trump received anemergency preparedness update
at the White House herebehind me earlier today.
He's been in touch withFEMA and state leaders
as the hurricane hits.
A tornado watch will also remain in effect
as the storm surges along thecoast and through the weekend.
John, Jenna, back to you.
- Alright, thank you.
Ben Kennedy for us at the White House.
Well even before Florence made landfall,
the editorial board of the Washington Post
created a firestorm ofits own criticizing,
and even blaming PresidentTrump for the storm.
The Washington Post said in part quote,
"When it comes to extremeweather, Mr. Trump is complicit."
It also criticized Trump for rolling back
Obama era environmental regulations.
- Well Curtis Houck is themanaging editor of NewsBusters,
he joins us now for more.
Curtis, do you think it's irresponsible
for the editorial boardof the Washington Post
to call the president complicit
with regard to thisextreme weather condition.
- It's stunning.
Well first of all, thehurricane hasn't even hit land
when this editorial was written.
It was still at leasta day and a half out,
so in looking at theforecast, and things change.
Hurricanes don't care what apresident's approval rating is,
and they don't care whostays and who doesn't.
A storm surge doesn't thinkabout who's house they hit
before the surge, and the water,
and the flooding come through.
The hundred mile an hour winds
don't really care who they're affecting.
So to say that this presidentis already complicit
in something that hasn'teven hit land yet,
it's so irresponsible.
And the fact that theymentioned Barack Obama's
environmental legacythat he's going after,
it just shows pettiness on the part
of the news media here.
And it's the Washington Post,
"Democracy dies in thedarkness," as their slogan goes.
I don't even have words todescribe how ridiculous this is
and really it's gotten a lotof traction on NewsBusters
because people just simply cannot believe
what they're reading,
that the WashingtonPost would go that far.
- I think he raised a valid point,
the fact that a lot ofthe Presidents' opponents
would criticize his decision
to pull out of the ParisClimate Accord agreement,
but that was just recently.
So to attribute blame for climate change
in this particular hurricane might seem
a little bit of an overreach.
- Right, okay.
So the Paris Climate Accord
is just a piece of paper at this point.
It is a bunch of countries that said,
we will do X, we will do blank.
We promise to in so many years,
depending on our part of the Accord,
we will do this much by this time.
And we will fix carbonemissions by this time.
And so I did a littleresearch looking at hurricanes
specifically that hit the Carolinas,
and going back through1984 we had a hurricane
caused 65 and a half milliondollars of damage at that time.
Hurricane Hugo, categoryfour storm from 1989,
$9.7 billion of damage.
Hurricane Emily, 1993,$35 billion of damage.
And moving forward to the President,
hurricane Isabel, 2003,$5.5 billion of damage.
So this is something that happens.
That is part of the weather.
There's a reason that hurricanestrigger so much fascination
among people, in their minds,
and why people tune intothe Weather Channel.
But to say that thePresident is responsible
for what's going onhere because he withdrew
from a Paris Climate Accord,
and he's loosening restrictions
on natural gas in this country,
in parts of the country nothaving to do with the Carolinas,
it's just this level of stupidity.
- The editorial board saidthe President and the GOP
have cemented their legacy whenit comes to climate change.
What are your thoughts on that?
- When you're going this far to kind of
connect the President to ahurricane and storm surge,
that the President's almost like wanting
these hurricanes to prosper,or something like that,
I think they're lookingat the President's words
describing this hurricane asit's coming close to land,
and they're saying, "Oh, heseems almost excited about it,"
as Jen Psaki, formerly withthe Obama administration
said on CNN a few days ago.
So it's this pattern andit's just kind of building
kind of avalanche of rhetoriccoming out of the news media
that this president's responsible,
that he's almost excited about this.
A hurricane that is likely to, God forbid,
but most hurricanes do leave a death toll
in their wake of some sort.
To automatically assign blame here
just shows how kind of blind,
it's not really aboutinforming the public,
and it's not about keeping people safe.
It's about forwarding an agenda
that can lessen thispresident's credibility
and eventually cause his party
to lose seats in Congress,or to remove him from office.
So again, this rhetoricis just so dangerous
and so irresponsible.
And to use the word complicit,
everybody knows what that word means,
that means that you'reresponsible for something,
and that you played a part in it.
People know that, and it's just,
again, I just have runout of words to describe
how absurd this is.
- Curtis Houck of NewsBusters,
thank you for joining us today.
- No problem, any time.
- [Jenna] How the church played a key role
in the recovery effortafter Hurricane Harvey
devastated part of Texas last year.
- Churches and faith-based organizations
often lead the way in recovery efforts
after natural disasters.
- Last year I had thechance to travel down
to one of the hardest hitareas by hurricane Harvey
to see first hand.
It's all fun and games atthe Johnston home today
just outside of Houston.
A far cry from a year ago,
when hurricane Harveyhit the Texas gulf coast.
Days of rain sent a nearby riversurging to biblical levels.
- John, they actuallysaid this was going to be
an 800 year flood highfrom the Brazos River.
- [John] Water streamedonto their property.
- To see our back yard turn into a lake,
see the kids' swing set,the water come up on that,
again, it was just terrifying.
- [John] Initially, county officials
told residents to shelter in place.
- Then we're told, don't hidein the attic, go on the roof.
And that's when I freaked out.
Because how do you go onthe roof with five kids?
How do you go on theroof with triplet boys?
Hours later came themandatory evacuation order.
- Buckle in, --.
- [John] Jeremiah and Audrey
packed up their five kids and took off.
They drove for four nightmarish hours,
trying to escape beforebeing forced into harm's way.
Driving into oncoming trafficbecame their only option.
- 'Cause our car wouldhave gotten stuck that way.
So we had to go straight.
- So we have our hazard lightsflashing on our vehicle.
I'm flashing, I'm doingmy horn, and I'm praying.
- We didn't know going forwardif there was another car
and thankfully there wasn't.
- When we got to the hotelthat night I broke down
because finally I realized we were safe.
For a whole week, theyrelied on the kindness
of other Christians for housing.
With offers from strangersand friends alike.
When the order was finally lifted,
the Johnstons returned tofind their home mostly intact.
- You had to replace walls.
- Yeah, everything is brand new .
- [John] Audrey saw their goodfortune and something else.
- Because the Lord allowedour home to be spared,
that it's our duty andhonor to go help those
who weren't as fortunate.
- The Johnstons know their fortunate
to have survived withminimal damage to their home,
and more importantly, foreveryone to stay safe.
And as first-time hurricane survivors,
they're even more appreciative
of the prayer and support of the church.
- It's been amazing tosee the church at work,
and to step up, and be thehands and feet of Jesus.
- [John] In the wake ofhurricanes Harvey and Irma,
churches have proven tobe invaluable partners
outpacing the work of the government.
Jeremiah, a Bible College professor,
believes these storms serve as a reminder
of the significance of the church.
- There are voices thatsay Christianity is passe,
God is irrelevant, thatchurch is so irrelevant.
We don't need the church anymore.
Guess what, no one was sayingthat after hurricane Harvey.
- You know, Jenna, he makes a great point.
When people are in need,you're not questioning
what church do you belong to,or where do you come from,
or what are your political beliefs.
You just want help.
- Yeah, it brings everybody together.
- That's absolutely right.
- Alright, we'll be right back.
- Well seven years ago, Danielle Stammer
thought her life was about to end
when an EF5 tornado came slamming
through the walls around her and her baby.
- She'd become separated from her husband
and their three yearold son, their year old.
And she never expected to see them again.
Here is her family story.
- [Reporter] On May 22nd, 2011,
Andrew and Danielle Stammerwere driving to a friend's home
with their two children,
when they heard tornado sirens.
- Heard that there wasa tornado possibility,
you know, a warning comingthrough the north side
of Joplin where we were heading.
- [Reporter] The couple soonheard that a second storm cell
was heading for the middle of Joplin.
They decided to takeshelter at the hospital
where Andrew was employed.
Unaware of how imminent the danger,
they first stop by theirhome for personal belongings.
- I was wanting to make sure that we had
like our essential things.
Like their passports,and birth certificates.
- [Danielle] There wasreally no fear at all.
Every other storm thatcame would circle Joplin.
It would either run to thenorth, or to the south.
We had not idea that what was happening
was happening right then.
- [Reporter] As they began their drive
to Saint John's Hospital,they realized how quickly
the storm was approaching.
- I didn't see anybody outside,
and it was just like there was a quiet.
But then we couldn't see the,
like a wall of black in front of us.
- There was not end, everything was still,
everything was quiet, buteverything was charged.
You could feel this charge.
And then we saw this,out of the black sky,
this shoot of light go straight up,
and they call them power surges, I think.
That's one of the indicators
that a tornado is on the ground.
And I prayed out loud "Lord,please protect our family.
We are in over our heads here."
- [Reporter] The familymade it to the entry way
of Saint John's Hospitalwith mere minutes to spare.
Danielle grabbed one yearold, Ethan, and ran inside.
I walked into the glassentry way and turned around,
and the wind was so strong
that Andrew was having a hard time
getting into the building where we were.
He was hunched over with Emily,
our at that time, threeyear old, against his chest,
bared down, step at a time,
just to try to get into where we were.
- [Reporter] When Andrew made it inside,
they realized the hospital was on lockdown
and they were unable toget passed the entryway.
- Basically I was just thinking
I just need to get my family to safety
and this is not safe.
I just had Emily in my left hand,
and I just startedslamming myself against it,
and about six or seven times,
the door broke off the bottom track.
- [Reporter] The couple slippedunderneath the cracked door
just seconds before an F5 tornado,
one of the deadliest in US history,
slammed directly into the hospital.
As soon as I slipped under that door,
no sooner had I gotten right past it,
all the lights went outand I was immediately
thrown down on the floorwith my son underneath me.
This whole hospital is beingtorn to shreds around me.
- [Reporter] The family wasseparated in an instant.
- I mean as soon as I walkedin, the lights went out,
I had no idea what'd happened to them.
- I was picked up off myfeet, went about 10 or 15 feet
across the floor, and gotslammed into that door,
and all the while I'm still holding Emily.
And then next thing I knew,I was on the bottom stair
of the outside staircase withmy daughter underneath me.
I was holding her right here,
and I was holding on a railing.
- [Reporter] In the midstof the raging storm,
the couple cried out to God.
- I was just crying out, "God save us.
God save us. Lord please help."
- And with my baby nestled under me,
I was just singing worship songs,
whatever came to mind,and I felt so peaceful,
and I felt like I couldalmost touch peace,
and that if I'd lifted my eyes,I would've just seen glory.
And I thought, "Okay,this is how my story ends.
I never knew what it was gonna be."
As I was singing, Ithought, you know what,
I think they'll findhim and he'll be okay.
- [Reporter] Saint John's Hospital
was severely mangled by the storm.
Upper stories completely destroyed.
Cars in the hospital parking lot
were tossed and disfiguredbeyond recognition.
- When I could not find my wife and son,
I was very nervous and I justwanted to be back with her.
And so I just went back into the hospital.
The door was already open,
and I don't know if I called out for her,
or if she called out for me.
- [Reporter] But Andrewand Danielle Stammer's
prayers were answered.
They successfully heldtheir children in their arms
and the family walked awaywith minor cuts and bruises.
- We finally got back together,
and it was I think I remember hugging her,
and it was very short-lived our reunion.
- [Reporter] After their reunion,
the couple had to quicklyface the reality of the storm
and its widespread destruction.
- It just looked like atotally different landscape.
There's no houses.
There's trees that are not there anymore.
In far as the eye could see.
- [Reporter] They say that while prayer
offered them supernaturalprotection during the storm,
it also brought comfort in the aftermath.
- And it was interestingbecause both of us
had the same reactions to it all.
Replaying what could have happened,
what could have happened,
and both of us fought against it,
and proclaimed truth the winner.
Neither of us had nightmares
about the tornado after that at all.
- [Reporter] Though thefamily lost their home,
their cars, and all oftheir belongings that day,
they say they are still thankful
for the blessings they have,
and the help they received from others.
- His provision, thosepeople, were so beautiful.
People came to our house to help us,
people who we didn't knowwere doing our laundry,
people were just everywhere,lining the streets,
doing what they could to help.
And I thought, okay, I'm taking notes.
Because when someone else suffering,
I want to do these kinds of things.
- [Reporter] Danielle wroteabout the miraculous survival
in her book, Singing Over Me.
They hope the book will show others
how prayer brought them protection,
comfort, and the strength tocarry on despite the tornado.
- In the midst of Him saving us,
He has given us this giftof this story that we have.
This story of triumph through tragedy,
and survival in the midstof horrendous circumstances.
The hope that I have for the future,
the hope that I have fornow, is so much greater.
- I definitely saw that He is near me,
whether I live, or whether I don't live.
I know that God heard us.
I definitely believe thatprayer changes the world.
- An incredible story ofhope, just like they said.
Well we wanna mention thatfor continuing coverage
of this hurricane, youcan go to CBNNews.com.
- That's gonna do it fortoday's Faith Nation.