Hurricane Irma has been blamed for at least five deaths in Florida, two in the state of Georgia and two in South Carolina.It killed at least 35 people as it tore through islands in the Caribbean last week.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president had several calls with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Sen. That risk extended to the coast of Georgia and parts of SC, the hurricane centre said.
Major General Michael Calhoun, the head of Florida's National Guard, said on Sunday that more than 10,000 National Guard members from other states are going to be arriving soon.
"They can donate to disaster, text disaster at 2022", Scott said.
The first, at about 9.10 a.m., was over the Florida Keys, an isolated string of islands.
Powerful Hurricane Jose missed the Leeward Islands this weekend, but it might have a second chance to strike the Caribbean and possibly Florida, forecasters said. "We've got roads that are impassable, so everybody's got to be patient as we work through this".
He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned".
"There's devastation", he said, adding that virtually every mobile-home park on the island chain was left upended. The company has restored power to about 1 million customers so far but CEO Eric Silagy said Monday that "people need to be prepared for some prolonged and extended outages". "It's awful, what we saw".
The Keys are cut off from the mainland, as the 42 bridges that link them are being assessed for damage. Now we're trying to get back home and we seem to not be able to find any gas anywhere.
As the state continues those services and plans to send recovery assistance teams to Florida, it will deactivate some of its emergency resources locally, like swift water rescue units.
The sheriff's office in Jacksonville, on Florida's northeast coast, reported that it was making a rescue from waist-deep water on Monday morning and urged people to stay off unsafe roads.
Irma remained 225 miles south of Miami Saturday morning, but the outer bands of the storm have already begun lashing the area with heavy rain and forceful wind gusts.