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FL Sustains Biggest Search and Rescue Since 9/11, Operation Blessing Helping Churches 'Be the Hands and Feet of Jesus


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Hurricane Ian is now responsible for more than 100 deaths, mostly in Florida. 

New images of the devastation are coming out each day as search and rescue teams focus their efforts on barrier islands cut off when the storm destroyed bridges and causeways connecting them to the mainland.

On one of the islands, crews are dumping gravel to create a makeshift road for first responders and aid workers.

Governor Ron DeSantis says 1,900 rescues have occurred so far. "There's more urban search and rescue teams in Florida now than any one place in American history since September 11th," he said.

More than 400,000 people are still without power in the Sunshine State, and the utility there is pledging to get most power restored by the end of the week.

The state has created a disaster relief fund to help those impacted by the storm. And President Biden is set to visit Florida on Wednesday to view the devastation firsthand. 

CBN's Operation Blessing has been on the ground in Florida, working with churches in several communities to distribute relief.

In Cape Coral, a semi-truck delivered relief supplies to Crosspoint Christian Church. The crew unloaded pallets of bottled water, Home Depot cleaning supply buckets, emergency meals, and Gatorade.

Pastor Matt Swearingen told us the supplies will enable the church to help meet the basic needs of their community.
"We would not be able to serve our community in the same way without a partner like Operation Blessing because the stores around here don't have the supplies that we need to be able to give out. They don't have cases and cases of water bottles in stock. That stuff has already been purchased, already been raided so to speak. So those are empty shelves," he said.

"We want to continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to get right into action serving our community, and without a partner like Operation Blessing, we're just not able to provide those resources in the same way because they're not available here," he explained. 

The needs of survivors in southwestern Florida are massive. You can help with the relief effort by calling 1-800-700-7000, or texting "OB CRISIS" to 71777. You can also click here to give.     

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CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming 24 hours a day by cable, satellite and the Internet. Staffed by a group of acclaimed news professionals, CBN News delivers stories to over a million viewers each day without a specific agenda. With its headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va., CBN News has bureaus in Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and elsewhere around the world. What began as a segment on CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club, in the early 1980s, CBN News has since expanded into a multimedia news organization that offers today's news headlines