Bermuda has been battered by high-winds and lashing rain as Hurricane Igor moves north-east through the Caribbean.
Widespread flooding has been reported, with power cut to thousands of homes.
While the storm has been downgraded to a category one hurricane by the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC), officials have warned it could be the worst storm the British overseas territory has ever seen.
A British Navy frigate and helicopter are anchored offshore, ready to assist with relief efforts.
The eye of the hurricane passed just north-west of the islands earlier this morning, but with winds reaching as far as 90 miles from the centre, substantial damage is feared.
The NHC – based in Miami - said gusts ranged up to 93 mph.
Hurricane Igor is now expected to move toward the US eastern seaboard
The organisation predicted Igor would veer north-east away from the United States during Monday, although forecasters warned the storm could still cause high surf and strong rip currents along the US eastern seaboard.
Following the impact Bermuda’s power utility reported roughly 19,500 customers had lost electricity from a total of 68,000 inhabitants.
Further north Canadian officials are preparing for impact.
Oil exploration firm Husky Energy said it would evacuate all 110 personnel from the oil rig Henry Goodrich as a precautionary measure.