The US east coast is starting to bare the brunt of “life-threatening” Hurricane Florence with strong winds and rain.

The states of North and South Carolina are in the face of the hurricane which is bringing sustained wind speeds of 90 mph.

More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate along the coasts of the two states as well as Virginia as states of emergency were declared and power was lost to more than 100,000 homes.

American Airlines, which activated a disaster response fundraising effort, said a number of airports were now closed along the North Carolina/South Carolina coast.

“Our team of meteorologists at the American Airlines Integrated Operations Centre in Fort Worth, Texas, continues to closely monitor the track of this storm,” the airline added.

The US National Hurricane Centre said wind speeds had slightly lowered, making it a category one hurricane.

However Hurricane Florence remains highly dangerous due to the high volume of rain and predicted storm surges.

“Conditions in affected states are likely to include widespread flash flooding, storm surge in coastal areas, and strong winds capable of damaging property and infrastructure,” the` foreign and Commonwealth Office warned.

The FCO said in an updated travel advisory: “Hurricane Florence is forecast to bring life-threatening weather conditions to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with potential effects in Maryland, the District of Columbia and eastern Georgia.

“Tropical storm winds are expected in coastal areas of North and South Carolina with major hurricane conditions likely to arrive on Friday and lasting through Saturday. Tropical storm conditions may prevail in coastal and inland regions through Monday.

“If you’ve planned travel to the region you should keep your plans under close review and be prepared to amend or postpone them.

“Keep in contact with your tour operator or transport/accommodation provider as appropriate.”