HURRICANE Florence has hit the US coast leaving streets inundated with ocean water and tens of thousands of homes without power.

The centre of the hurricane made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and 90mph winds.

The National Hurricane Centre warned there would be “catastrophic” fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville. Parts of buildings ripped apart by the storm flew through the air.

Authorities in the North Carolina city of New Bern said there are around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters.

The US National Hurricane Centre said that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3ft of inundation.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power yesterday morning, according to which tracks the nation’s electrical grid.

Florence’s leading edge whipped the Carolina coast to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide areas underwater.

Governor Roy Cooper warned of an impending disaster.

He said: “The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come.

“Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience.”