Florida is said to be facing the ‘‘most catastrophic” storm in its history, after Hurricane Irma made landfall.
The giant weather system has already hit the state’s southern island keys claiming its first victim after a man died when he crashed his pick-up truck.
Now a category 4 storm having weakened slightly, the US National Hurricane Center says Irma is currently packing winds of 210 kilometres per hour.
Irma is expected to carve a path north-west up through Florida having already devastated parts of the Caribbean with at least 25 deaths.
Powerful sea surges of up to 4.5 metres are predicted in some areas with Governor Rick Scott saying he is very concerned about the Sunshine State’s west coast.
More than 6.3 million people were told to get out of Florida before Irma’s arrival, but not everyone has heeded or heard those warnings.
The huge hurricane comes just days after Hurricane Harvey, which dumped record amounts of rain causing unprecedented flooding in Texas.
At least 60 people died there and an estimated 150 billion euros worth of damage was inflicted.
Almost three months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through to November.