Some of the highest surge will affect Naples, Bonita Springs, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers. "But in the last hour, we still see sustained tropical winds".
Irma is currently churning with sustained 130 mph winds. At 11 on Saturday night, it was extended as far west as the Ochlockonee river.
Elsewhere in the Caribbean, clean-up and rescue efforts continued. A hurricane warning for both coasts of the Florida peninsula up through central parts of the state was in effect. It was smacking Naples after coming ashore in Marco Island at 3.30 pm local time (0530 am AEST). But some were determined to ride out the storm. "That would have been catastrophic".
-It spent three consecutive days as a top-of-the-scale Category 5 hurricane, the longest in the satellite era.
After a week that began with talk of nuclear war and ended with Hurricane Irma, investors are not surprisingly struggling to deal with the deluge of risks that are now confronting them on an almost daily basis, and to price them correctly.
"There will be massive damage in Florida".
Irma is expected to drop 2 to 5 inches of rain across South Carolina and northern portions of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Additional weakening is forecast.
Irma was expected to reach the heavily populated Tampa-St.
Hurricane Irma slammed into southwest Florida on Sunday, packing 120 mph winds as it made its second landfall in the state.
By Sunday morning, the Tampa-St.
Hurricane Irma strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it inched closer to Florida, where hundreds of thousands are without power hours before one of the most powerful storms in the Atlantic hits. A report released in June by CoreLogic, a global property information firm, said nearly 455,000 Tampa Bay homes could be damaged by hurricane storm surges, the most in any major metro area except Miami and New York City.
Koon said first reports from the Keys showed U.S. 1 may be passable.
The hurricane had hit Caribbean Islands on Wednesday, killing 24 people. The agency will fly a drone aircraft along the 100-mile stretch of road Monday morning. He doesn't know when his mother is going home - and for that matter, he doesn't know when he's going home.
Forecast models had anticipated Irma turning north earlier than it did, said CNN meteorologist Judson Jones.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said storm surge is the main fear.
Officials in other states are also keeping an eye on Irma.
And with the scope of this exodus, if we all try to leave - those of us that must and those of us that just want to because we're afraid - well ... we've all seen the clips from "The Walking Dead" where the highways are littered with abandoned cars.
Fort Lauderdale police arrested nine people they said were caught on TV cameras looting sneakers and other items from a sporting goods store and a pawn shop during the hurricane.
"The wooden pier is basically gone", said Steven Schlacknam, a 51-year-old visual artist watching from a 37th floor apartment. "There's just no power or water".
If Irma tracks farther west, then it will interact with warmer water for a longer period of time, which could lead to even further intensification.
- Miami-Dade County announced a curfew between 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday.
Given its mammoth size and strength and its projected course, Irma could prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida. This job had already gotten more complicated by the departure of senior Fed officials, including now its vice chair Stanley Fischer.
Gov. Rick Scott said Irma's wrath is unprecedented. "And here we are". It caused $15 billion in damage and was blamed for as many as 35 deaths in the U.S.