Trees and branches are seen after being knocked down by the high winds as Hurricane Irma arrives on September 10 in Miami.
By 5 pm, the storm was hitting Fort Myers, moving north toward low-lying, vulnerable Tampa as a still-potent Category 2 storm.
We are going to get the sustained tropical storm winds, we are getting the gusts from hurricanes, tornado threats.
Michael Rivers of North Lauderdale, Fla., said losing power took him from "anxious before and during the storm, to bored and angry after due to the loss of power.it's hot".
The challenges in the immediate aftermath of the storm will be many: Restoring across the state, removing debris from roads, dealing with possible fuel shortages, and making sure nursing home and hospital patients who were evacuated can safely return.More news: Pakistan vs World XI T20
Hurricane Irma remains a very large storm, almost three times the size of the state of Florida, and meteorologists are now predicting it will make a northwest turn sometime this weekend.
The highest surge could be 4-6 feet along in SC and on Florida's east coast as well as the northwest Florida coast, the hurricane center said.
Irma is expected to continue to weaken and could dissipated altogether in 72 hours.
By late Sunday night, Florida officials said there were shelters open in 64 of Florida's 67 counties - 573 shelters across the state, holding 155,000 people, The Washington Post reported. The storm left at least 27 people dead as it tore across the Caribbean.
Irma is still forecast to move away from North Carolina. North Mississippi is in the cone of impact for Tuesday.
Cumberland, Hoke, Moore and Robeson counties are included in a Wind Advisory that goes into effect at noon on Monday. Winds will not reach tropical strength in central North Carolina, but it will be breezy with gusts possibly as high as 30 to 35 miles per hour.