Hurricane Nicole: Power outages as rare November storm hits Florida

Some 215,000 homes and businesses in Florida have been left without power as storm Nicole batters the US state.

States of emergency and evacuation orders are in place, and residents have been told to stay indoors with heavy rain and storm surges forecast.

Nicole has already lashed the Bahamas as a huge category one hurricane, and caused widespread flooding.

Storms of this size so late in the year are extremely rare.

Nicole hit Florida’s eastern coast as a hurricane at 03:00 EST (08:00 GMT) with winds of up to 75mph (120km/h). These have weakened slightly to around 60mph and Nicole has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it makes its way north-west across the sunshine state.