08/10/2016 8:08 AM AEDT | Updated 09/10/2016 8:54 AM AEDT

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

Joe Raedle via Getty Images

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.