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Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Friday, drenching the East Coast area of the United States.

Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people spent the night in emergency shelters.

Originally categorised as a hurricane, Florence has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Evacuation warnings have been issued for 1.7 million people as it moves across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Here is a selection of striking images from when it hit.

A sign on a boarded-up building reads "Go away Florence"Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMany residents in affected areas boarded up their homes and businesses before the storm hit
A man drives his vehicle around the Union Point Park Complex through floodwaters as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New BernImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe storm caused many roads, towns, and cities to be flooded
Rescuers with a resident in a boat in North CarolinaImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionSome North Carolina residents had to be evacuated by emergency teams
Some serious damage has occurred at Marion County Airport (KMAO) from winds associated with #FlorenceImage copyrightJOJO TURBEVILLE
Image captionAircraft including helicopters, an aeroplane and a microlight were damaged by high winds at Marion County Airport in South Carolina
A vehicle in a flooded street in the North Carolina city of New BernImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionAround 150 people were trapped in their houses in the North Carolina city of New Bern
Water from the Neuse river floods the streets during the pass of Hurricane Florence the town of New Bern, North Carolina, US on 14 September 2018Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionWater from the nearby Neuse River flooded the city
Two people walk in flooded streets in New Bern, North CarolinaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionNew Bern’s streets were flooded during the heavy rainfall
Boats pushed away from the dock on a street in the town of New Bern, North Carolina on 14 September 2018.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionBoats were carried by the force of the winds from New Bern’s docks on to the city’s streets

Media captionBBC on the ground as Hurricane Florence arrives
A woman and her dog being rescuedImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionSome residents were reluctant to evacuate because not all shelters accept pets
A tree is poictured on top of a house in Wilson, North CarolinaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionTrees were downed across North Carolina amid high winds
A father and daughter appear emotional as a neighbour is taken away injured from fallen treeImage copyrightAFP
Image captionPeople watch as a neighbour is rescued after a tree fell on his home in Wilmington, North Carolina
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Waves crash into the Second Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 14, 2018.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe storm continued its way across the Carolinas, sending waves crashing against this pier in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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