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Photos Show Hurricane Matthew's Force As It Lashes U.S. Coast (UPDATED)

Officials warn the storm could gain strength as it climbs the Atlantic Coast.

08/10/2016 8:08 AM AEDT | Updated 09/10/2016 8:54 AM AEDT
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Hurricane Matthew ripped through rural Haiti this week, claiming at least 842 lives and leaving millions of Americans living along the southern Atlantic Coast scrambling to escape its path.

“I want to emphasize to the public that this is a serious storm,” President Barack Obama warned Wednesday as the hurricane barreled north. The White House announced a state of emergency for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, prompting mass evacuations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is working on the ground in all four states to assist those affected.

There were at least four storm-related deaths in Florida as of Saturday. Hurricane Matthew left more than 1 million people without power across the state. More than 22,000 people are seeking refuge in shelters, and traffic tolls have been suspended to enable easy movement, according to a Florida state press release.

The storm weakened as it traveled up the U.S. coast, and the National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a Category 1 storm Saturday. Still, hundreds of thousands were left with no power in South Carolina and Georgia as forecasters warned of flash flooding.

Take a look at the damage Hurricane Matthew has caused in the U.S. so far.

  • Stephen B. Morton/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A woman walks along a flooded street after leaving her homeless camp in the wake of flooding on Oct. 8.
  • Brian Blanco/Getty Images
    Residents on bikes make their way through a flooded street on Oct. 8, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. 
  • Mark Wilson/Getty Images
    A Jeep drives down a flooded street on Oct. 8, 2016 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A woman looks over storm damage from Hurricane Matthew at the Casablanco Inn Oct. 8, 2016, in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Drew Angerer/Getty Images
    A view of downed tree and damaged power lines in a residential neighborhood on Oct. 8, 2016 in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Eric Gay/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man is hit by a wave as he tries to document the effects of Hurricane Matthew on Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • Phelan Ebenehack / Reuters
    Parts of the exterior wall of the oceanfront Hilton Daytona Beach Resort falls off as the eye of Hurricane Matthew passes Daytona Beach, Florida, on Friday.
  • Mark Wilson via Getty Images
    Palm trees sway from the winds of Hurricane Matthew on Friday on Cocoa Beach, Florida. Hurricane Matthew passed by offshore as a Category 3 hurricane, bringing heavy wind and some flooding.
  • Drew Angerer via Getty Images
    A downed tree from high winds rests against a car in a residential community after Hurricane Matthew passes through in Ormond Beach, Florida.
  • Orlando Sentinel via Getty Images
    A car rests in a ditch off 17/92 in the Longwood/Lake Mary area in front of the Wyndham Place apartments on Friday in Longwood, Florida.
  • Phelan Ebenehack / Reuters
    Debris flies through the air as the eye of Hurricane Matthew nears Daytona Beach, Florida, on Friday.
  • Joe Raedle via Getty Images
    Jim Griggis (L) and Marlin Whaley clean up after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area in Fort Pierce, Florida.
  • ROYSTON JONES via Getty Images
    A toppled steeple is seen at St. Gregory's Parish in Nassau, New Providence island, in the Bahamas, on Thursday.
  • Mark Wilson via Getty Images
    A Space Shuttle model stands near some downed trees in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A billboard canvas flaps in the wind Friday in North Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Henry Romero / Reuters
    A fallen tree on the street is seen after Hurricane Matthew hits in Melbourne, Florida.
  • Mark Wilson via Getty Images
    Heavy waves caused by Hurricane Matthew pound the boat docks at the Sunset Bar and Grill on Cocoa Beach, Florida.
  • Henry Romero / Reuters
    A traffic lamp damaged by wind is seen after Hurricane Matthew hits in Melbourne, Florida, on Friday.
  • Drew Angerer via Getty Images
    A downed tree from high winds rests against the side of a home in residential community after Hurricane Matthew passes through on Friday in Ormond Beach, Florida.
  • Eric Gay/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A vehicle approaches a palm tree that snapped in Daytona Beach.
  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images
    High winds stir up a flooded street as Hurricane Matthew passes through the area on Friday in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Henry Romero/Reuters
    A lamp post is seen on a sidewalk after Hurricane Matthew hits in Melbourne, Florida, on Friday.
  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images
    A man walks through a flooded street in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Eric Gay/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A vehicle passes a post office that lost portions of the roof in Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • Mark Wilson/Getty Images
    A home is surrounded in by flood waters on in Port Orange, Florida.
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