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Franklin Graham to families in path of Hurricane Florence: God is not mad at you
Families whose homes lie in the path of a powerful hurricane have been assured by Franklin Graham that God is not angry with them.
The US evangelist spoke hours before Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina on Friday, leaving tens thousands of homes without power and streets in coastal areas flooded.
He told the Fox & Friends show on Fox News: "As a Christian, I want people to know that God loves them and hasn't forgotten them.
"Of course, many people think that when a storm comes that maybe God is mad at them. He's not."
The son of the world-renowned preacher Rev Billy Graham, Rev Franklin Graham is the president of Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian group which is responding the hurricane.
Bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and 90mph gusts, experts at the National Hurricane Centre warned the Carolinas could experience "catastrophic" flooding caused by the storm.
Hurricane Florence reached mainland America at around 12.15pm (UK time).
Authorities were responding to reports of dozens of people around the city of New Bern needing to be rescued from flood waters.
Earlier in the week, hundreds of thousands of people living near the coast were told to leave their homes.
Church leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina were bracing for an influx of families who were heeding the call to evacuate more vulnerable areas.
Executive pastor at First Baptist Charlotte Church, Jonathan Rebsamen told Premier: "All of our schools are closed and so there are facilities all over the city where folks can stay. Churches as well.
"First Baptist Charlotte; we're wide open and we would love to house people in our gymnasium.
"We have showers, we have kitchens, we have all kinds of facilities that people can use."
In a message to Christians in the UK, he said: "We all need to take a moment and pray for everyone in the path of this storm, for our emergency service personnel, all the disaster relief officials..."
Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Jonathan Rebsamen:
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