Meanwhile, Scott acknowledged the fuel shortage that Irma had caused will likely continue, despite the state's efforts to ensure extra supply.
The storm made landfall in Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys on Sunday morning. "That's why everyone in the Keys was urged so strongly to evacuate".
The almost 400-mile-wide storm is expected to make a slow, ruinous march up Florida's west coast, straight toward the heavily populated Tampa-St.
In Florida and southern Georgia, more than 8 million people face hurricane-force winds topping 74 miles per hour, said Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics.
"Pray, pray for everybody in Florida", Gov. Rick Scott said on "Fox News Sunday".
US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their cabinet were briefed on Hurricanes Irma and Jose, with Trump warning on Twitter that "this is a storm of enormous destructive power".
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for much of West and South Florida, which means the center believes unsafe conditions are imminent. Some people in South Florida could be without electricity for weeks. After Irma rakes Florida's west coast, it may keep moving north across Georgia and Alabama. Over the weekend, the category four storm pummelled parts of the Caribbean, leading to at least 27 deaths. The New York Times reports widespread damage to property, homes, and infrastructure on these and other islands. There are fears the outages could last months. Friday night, the storm hit Cuba.
Much is still uncertain about how the storm's impact on Florida.
On Saturday, Irma covered most of the island, the Caribbean's largest.
Florida's governor activated all 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard, and 10,000 guardsmen from elsewhere were being deployed. At one point, a hurricane-force gust at Port Everglades in Broward was recorded at 86 miles per hour. In South Carolina, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for eight barrier islands, including Hilton Head Island, the most populous of the islands with about 40,000 residents.
"You can't survive these storm surges", he said. In a text message to a reporter, she said: "We are good so far".
Nibbs said roofs were torn away, trees were toppled, government buildings were destroyed, and cell towers were snapped in half, leaving the small island of about 1,600 people without any form of communication. "Take what you need, but only what you need". Even if Irma downgrades, it's still a unsafe storm. But scientists caution against focusing on wind speed alone. Nearly the entire state is under hurricane warning. Irma has the potential to be even worse.
In the fishing town of Caibarien, residents swept mud from beachside homes after storm surge drove 3 feet (1 meter) of seawater up the shore. On this scale, Hurricane Katrina would have scored a 6.6.
"We're accustomed to getting hurricanes, so we know how to provide".
Former firefighter Roger Schwartz, 75, says several hundred of his mostly-retired neighbours were riding out the storm in the Gulfstream Harbour community of some 800 mobile homes.
As if Irma weren't enough to worry about there's another huge storm churning in the seas - Jose. Airports in the area reported powerful winds, including a sustained wind of 55 mph (88 kph) and a gust of 82 mph (132 kph) at Naples Municipal Airport, and a sustained wind of 63 mph (102 kph) and a gust of 84 mph (135 kph) at Opa-Locka Executive Airport. "It certainly could inundate the entire island". Hurricane warnings were still in effect Saturday for parts of central Cuba. Roughly 83 percent of Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park, is in the dark. These folks tend to live-tweet storm updates.