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'The Church Being the Church': Faith Groups Brave Floodwaters to Get Aid to Stranded City of Wilmington

Erik Rosales : Sep 18, 2018 : CBN News

"We will do onsite feeding; we will be sending food out to the local community, making door-to-door deliveries." -Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs founder and president

airlift(Wilmington, NC)—[CBN News] As the remnants of Florence bombard the Northeast today, residents in the Carolinas are reeling from the massive flooding that is only going to worsen in the days ahead. (Screengrab via CBN News)

To date, Florence has claimed the lives of at least 32 people in three states, with 25 of those fatalities taking place in North Carolina. And rescue efforts continue throughout the Carolinas as the floodwaters are still rising.

"We know that we are going to have a significant flooding event in eastern North Carolina. We know the Lumber River, the Northeast Cape Fear River, the Black River, the Cape Fear River are all going to be past flood stage," Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said.

Right now, there is no way in or out of Wilmington—the city is completely cut off by flooding.

Now the hunt is on for necessities, like food. But help is on the way for this stranded city.

Some 20 FEMA trucks have arrived with enough food and water to feed 60,000 people over the next four days. Wilmington officials say the journey from Fort Brag took them many hours to complete, noting that they needed a police escort.

"The major arteries are all closed. They are flooded," Hanover County spokesperson Janine Powell said. "This took a coordinated effort, with the state highway patrol literally taking them through back road, after back road, after back road."

Local churches and organizations are also helping. Currently, the faith-based non-profit Mercy Chefs is dishing out approximately 16,000 meals a day.

"We will do onsite feeding; we will be sending food out to the local community, making door-to-door deliveries," Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs founder and president, told CBN News.

Jeff Kapusta serves as lead pastor of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington.

"We started this church to point people to life in Jesus and that's what it's about," he said. "So to have other brothers and sisters that don't live here, that say we want to help you do that very thing—that's the Church being the Church."

For resident Blair Parrish, receiving diapers for her newborn saved the young mother a trip to the store and the grueling long lines.

"We thought we were prepared, but as we found out, we were not quite as prepared as we thought," she said.

Officials are urging people to stay off the streets as some 1,200 roadways are still closed in North Carolina alone. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here.

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