US officials say it is too late to flee from the path of Hurricane Michael ‑ a category four storm ‑ and are warning those that stay to shelter in place.
The storm made landfall north‑west of Mexico beach on Florida's Gulf Coast, and is expected to be the largest storm to hit the region in 100 years.
Florida Governor Rick Scott warned citizens of "unimaginable devastation".
At least 13 people reportedly died in Central America over the weekend as a result of storm rains and floods.
The storm has sustained winds of 240km/h and is due to make landfall and then quickly move up the US East Coast.
More than 370,000 people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate and move to higher ground, but officials estimate that far fewer have actually left.
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