The prime minister of the Bahamas says parts of the region have been "decimated" by Hurricane Dorian.
Hubert Minnis said there had been "severe flooding and severe damage" to homes, businesses, other buildings and infrastructure on Abaco Islands.
Both Abaco and Grand Bahama experienced a direct hit from the powerful hurricane in recent days.
At least seven people have died, but Mr Minnis said that number is expected to rise due to the scale of the damage.
1/2 Today I got the chance to do an initial air reconnaissance of Abaco on a @USCG aircraft. Parts of the island have been decimated by Hurricane #Dorian. There is severe flooding, severe damage to homes, businesses, other buildings and infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/AMkXdskUIH
— Dr Hubert Minnis (@minnis_dr) September 4, 2019
He added it was one of the "greatest national crises" in the country's history.
A local volunteer fire and rescue said some areas had seen a majority of structures destroyed, while almost every boat sunk in some docks.
Dorian has weakened as it crawls towards the north-east coast of the US, but has also increased in size.
The latest update released by the National Hurricane Centre reported sustained winds of 165km/h as the storm moves at around 13km/h.
Storm surge and hurricane warnings remain in place for parts of Florida and the Carolinas.
Forecasters said: "On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through tonight.
"The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning."
CNN reports US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in North Carolina, to "lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe".
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, thanked everyone involved in the emergency preparations and response for what he described as a "very complicated storm".