At least three people have been confirmed dead in the US state of Florida, just minutes after the eye of Hurricane Irma struck the Key West area.

The category 4 storm which has already killed dozens along the Caribbean in the past week has wind speeds of more than 140mph.

All three deaths so far have involved car crashes with some people attempting to drive in the torrential conditions.

Speaking in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Florida Governor Rick Scott said: "The first thing I ask everybody to do is pray for us.

"I know a lot of people around the world want to help. The biggest thing you can do now is pray."

The storm is expected to slowly move up the western coast of the state, bringing storm surges that could engulf many towns and cities that lie alongside usually shallow waters.

Millions of Floridians have been evacuatedfrom the south of the state with shortages in fuel, food and other supplies.

As the storm, which is larger than all of Florida itself, moves up the coast, emergency services have warned that they won't be able to help those in need until it passes.

Governor Scott said :"Our first responders will do everything they can to take care of you.

"But in the middle of the storm, it'll be hard. But I can tell you, we are going to try our best to make sure that we take care of everyone."

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