Tropical storm Barry made landfall in the US state of Louisiana and has weakened to a storm from a hurricane.
People boarded up buildings, stocked up on water and braced for torrents of rain and punishing wind from a strengthening Tropical Storm Barry that threatened millions as it churned a path ashore and tested efforts to guard against flooding since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 14 years ago.
Spain was also preparing itself for what was dubbed a "zombie" hurricane, as it first formed on September 23 and has been meandering through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean for weeks.
Death toll from hurricane Michael rises to 16; likely to rise further
Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that he expected the number of deaths to rise.
The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office confirmed four fatalities in the Florida Panhandle county, which is west of the state capital Tallahassee.
Hurricane Michael battered Florida causing uprooting of trees and power outages.
Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969.
The hybrid storm, often called a "Medicane" (Mediterranean + hurricane) has features similar to hurricanes and typhoons, CNN reported on Friday.
Nearly 5,00,000 people remained without electricity, while hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.
Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile (1.6 kilometers) of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River.
The core of Tropical Storm Florence is now drifting westward over South Carolina, threatening more flash floods and major river flooding.
The mother and her baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police.
Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland.
Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia’s governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and South Carolina in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.
The maximum sustained winds of the storm have dropped slightly to 110 mph (175 kph), but the storm continues being a catastrophic Category 3 storm as it heads towards North and South Carolina.
US: Hurricane Florence strengthens as 1 million people in America are told to flee east coast
According to the National Weather Service, nearly 4 million people were under a tropical storm watch, while over 5.4 million people reside in areas under hurricane warnings or watches on the US East Coast.
Hurricane Florence prepares for landfall in Carolinas, Virginia, authorities order evacuations
Hurricane Florence has the potential to bring catastrophic flooding to areas of the eastern United States already soaked by heavy rains.