Most of the power losses were in Florida, but losses in Georgia, which were at about 90,000 households as of 7 a.m. ET, were expected to increase as the storm moved north. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said it "will cover your house".
Storm surge doesn't just come from the ocean. Do not think the storm is over when the wind slows down.
Irma, which was expected to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous USA state, it hit just days after the Houston area was deluged by unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey, which dumped more than 127cm of rain in parts of Texas.
Winds swirl in a counterclockwise motion around Irma's low-pressure center. The bad news is that it has inflicted a heck of a lot of damage on Florida, and it's not done yet. So they've been urging people to get away from the shore, to move as quickly as they can and - 'cause it's that storm surge which is going to be the most damaging thing here.
ALLEN: Well, now, it's a little bit north of Naples, heading toward Fort Myers, another populous area here in Florida. "But we do know that in the eastern portions of our state, they need to start preparing themselves for tropical storm conditions".
In most locations, Duke said it was still assessing damage and had no estimate of when power would be restored.
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Irma moves into Guilford County as Charlotte area deals with damage
At least 25 people have been killed by the extreme weather event in the Caribbean. "We worked hard to get people to evacuate ". On the Atlantic coast off South Carolina, Hilton Head Island's 42,000 residents were under an evacuation order this morning.
Trump also encouraged officials to also stay focused on recovery efforts in southeast Texas following Hurricane Harvey, which caused severe flooding in Houston and surrounding areas after it made landfall in late August.
South Florida's large population of elderly residents posed a severe test for the emergency shelters, many of which were not equipped for people with elaborate medical needs.
With a 3.25 day lifetime as a Category 5, Irma tied an unnamed 1932 Cuba hurricane for the longest lifetime as a Category 5.
"For those in the Lower Keys who may be listening", he told the Miami Harold, "you don't want to go outside even if the wind dies down because of the surge".
Storm surge is forecast to be as high as 10 to 15 feet above normal tide levels from Cape Sable to Captiva in southwest Florida, with life-threatening inundation expected all along Florida's western Gulf coast. And how bad is the damage? "But we may see home heavy rain and tornadoes as well". The waters took their toll on Miami Beach and downtown Miami, leaving some areas in Brickell with waist-deep flooding. We can hear the wind battering the door and trees outside. So power outages are still possible in SC.