Hurricane Isaias hit the U.S. east coast late on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometres per hour (km/h), according to the U.S. national hurricane service (NHC).
The hurricane made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach in the state of North Carolina, just after 11.00 p.m. (0300 GMT Tuesday) and had stronger winds than forecasted.
The NHC has warned inhabitants in affected areas of possible “life-threatening” storm surges, flooding and “dangerous winds”.
Further north on the U.S. east coast, New Jersey Governor Ryan Murphy announced a state-wide state of emergency, shutting down all state offices and advising people not to drive.
Earlier on Monday, the NHC reclassified Isaias as a hurricane and gave it level one hurricane status, the lowest level.
The hurricane was expected to ease on Tuesday over North Carolina and move further north-east near the coast.
Isaias had passed over parts of the Bahamas as a hurricane on Saturday, but weakened again into a tropical storm on its way towards the east coast of Florida.
The storm did not hit land in Florida, despite initial predictions it would.