NEW BERN, N.C. (BP) -- As Hurricane Florence came ashore Friday (Sept. 14) in North Carolina, Southern Baptists began relief ministries and made initial assessments of flooded church buildings and homes. The Category 1 hurricane has left at least four people dead. Florence could dump 40 inches of rain on some areas of North and South Carolina, according to media reports. As of Friday morning, 620,000 people in the Carolinas were without power and 26,000 were in more than 200 emergency shelters. At least four Southern Baptist churches had their facilities flooded, with rain and storm surges expected to increase flooding over the weekend. Attempting boat rescues, manning unofficial shelters and preparing for a formal Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) campaign were among Baptists' initial responses.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (BP) -- As Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, Vero Beach associate pastor Kyle Bailey "had a sense of peace," he said, and "felt like God had something special in store." But little did he know God would soon use him and pastor Roger Ball, both of Vero Beach's Freedom Church, to share prayer, encouragement, weather updates and the Gospel with more than 600,000 people through a "Hurricane Irma Safety Check-In" group they created on Facebook.