Tropical storm Hermine has made landfall in northern Florida, becoming the first hurricane to strike the state in 11 years.
Hermine hit on the Florida Gulf Coast as a category one hurricane, bringing with it a heavy storm surge.
Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 51 counties as residents were braced for the storm that was dangerous.
Wind gusts reached 80mph (130km/h), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Two hours as it moved inland, Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm, the National Weather Service said.
Authorities in Taylor County, that has a population of more than 20,000, said the storm had inflicted “severe damage”.
City officials in the state capital Tallahassee, where individuals were encouraged to go to higher ground to avoid flash floods, said at least 70,000 houses were now without power.
South of Tallahassee, the town of Cedar Key saw a 6.6ft (two-metre) storm surge, raising high tide to almost 10ft. Pictures from the town posted on social media revealed major flood.
“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.”