Hurricane Ian made landfall for the third time this week in South Carolina after tearing a ruinous path across Florida and Cuba.
Ian roared ashore as a Category 1 storm near Georgetown with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (140 kilometres per hour) at 2.05pm (eastern time) on Friday. Georgetown is around 60 miles north of the city of Charleston.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of life-threatening storm surge, damaging winds and flash flooding to the coast of the Carolinas.
The storm accelerated as it moved towards the coast and is traveling north at 15mph (24 km/h), a National Weather Service spokesman said on Friday afternoon.
A hurricane warning was effect from the Savannah River near Savannah, Georgia up to Cape Fear, North Carolina.
A storm surge warning was in effect for the Savannah River up to Cape Fear along with the Neuse River, North Carolina and St Johns River, Florida.
Ian is forecast to turn northwest tonight and will move inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina into Saturday, according to the NHC.
Ian should weaken rapidly after landfall and become a post-tropical cyclone overnight before dissipating over western North Carolina or Virginia late on Saturday.
More than 69,000 people were without power in South Carolina on Friday, according to local officials.
From early Friday, Charleston was battered by strong winds as people sheltered indoors and residents packed doorways with sandbags.
The hurricane previously made landfall on Tuesday in western Cuba, plunging the entire island into blackout after the power grid collapsed. Ian then gathered steam in the warm Gulf waters and plowed in southwest Florida near Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon as a near Category-5 hurricane.
President Joe Biden has issued an emergency declaration for South Carolina, following his previous order for parts of Florida.
This is a breaking news story and is being updated