The first hurricane to hit Florida in a decade, Hermine, has caused severe damage along the state’s northern Gulf Coast.
A homeless man died after a tree fell on him as the storm moved inland, Florida Governor Rick Scott said.
Gusts of 80mph (130km/h) caused storm surges that flooded part of the coast.
In the town of Cedar Key, waters rose more than 9.5ft (2.9 metres), among the highest surges ever seen, according to the National Weather Service.
After making landfall early on Friday, Hermine swept through Florida and, weakening to a tropical storm, is now making its way through Georgia towards the Carolinas.
Police in Taylor County, Florida, that has a population of more than 20,000, said the storm had inflicted “severe damage“.
In the state capital Tallahassee, where people were urged to move to higher ground to avoid flash floods, at least 70,000 homes were without power at one point, affecting 60% of people in the region.
Hurricanes in the US
- While Florida is prone to storms and storm surges, it has not seen a hurricane in close to 4,000 days
- The last hurricane to strike Florida was Wilma in October 2005, causing five deaths and an estimated $23bn (£17bn) of damage
- Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in the same year, killing nearly 2,000 people and displaced one million
- In fact, Hermine is the first hurricane to make landfall in the US since Arthur in July 2014 – no hurricanes touched down in 2010, 2013 or 2015
“It is a mess… we have high water in numerous places,” Virgil Sandlin, the police chief in Cedar Key, told the Weather Channel. “I was here in 1985 for Hurricane Elena and I don’t recall anything this bad.”
Governor Rick Scott had earlier declared a state of emergency for 51 counties across the state.
Weather officials predict Hermine could bring heavy rains along the East Coast in the comi