In Pictures: Hurricane Florence batters US east coast

Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast (Nasa/AP) Credit: AP/Press Association Images

US authorities have warned of “catastrophic” freshwater flooding as Hurricane Florence hits America’s east coast.

Forecasters say the combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland.

Wind and water from Hurricane Florence damaged the highway leading off Harkers Island Credit: Jordan Guthrie/AP
A bear statue floats in floodwaters on South Front street in New Bern Credit: City of New Bern/AP
A boat was wedged in trees when Hurricane Florence hit the town of Oriental Credit: Angie Propst/AP
Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach Credit: David Goldman/AP
Flood waters have inundated buildings in New Bern Credit: New Bern Police/AP
Jamie Thompson walks through flooded sections of East Front Street near Union Point Park in New Bern, North Carolina Credit: AP
Waves slam the Oceana Pier and Pier House Restaurant in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina Credit: AP
A message tells shoppers about supplies no longer available in South Carolina as Hurricane Florence approaches Credit: AP
A police vehicle patrols the beach during an evening curfew which went into effect on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Credit: AP
Union Point Park is flooded with rising water from the Neuse and Trent Rivers in New Bern, North Carolina Credit: AP
Residents at Trent Court Apartments wait out the weather as rising water gets closer to their doors in New Bern Credit: AP