One of those issues is a major concern about drinking and running water. The governor described overturned mobile homes, washed-ashore boats and rampant flood damage.
The National Hurricane Centre was monitoring another hurricane, Jose, which was spinning in the Atlantic about 1,130km west of Florida.
Many areas are stranded and without access from outside help, with the islands of the Florida Keys and western parts of the state isolated after bearing the brunt of Irma. The storm surge you are used to hearing about happens when wind pushes water onto land causing flooding.
The storm will move near the northwestern coast of Florida this morning, cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday. Last week it killed at least 37 people as it crossed the Caribbean.
Close to 5.2 million people are without power in Florida, with FEMA chief Brock Long saying some places won't have power for weeks, CNN reported. State authorities have also urged evacuees from Florida, who sought shelter in Georgia as Irma battered their home state, to wait for the green light before emptying out onto the roads to return home.
Hurricane Irma should be moving directly over the Tampa Bay area around midnight. Irma's surge could top 12 feet in areas of the state's west coast, but in Palm Beach it should be between 2 and 4 feet, while in Broward it should be 3 to 6. In the Keys, though, he said "there is devastation".
"Boy, are we happy to say, 'Goodbye Irma".
The Weather Service reported the storm surge flooding in Jacksonville set an all-time record Monday morning and water covered downtown streets.
Cuban officials say at least 10 people were killed by the storm there. The St. Johns River overflowed into several neighborhoods. Once you got past Islamorada, there was a lot of sand in the road. "A t-shirt, anything white", the office said on its Facebook page.
Paul Johnson and Shonda Brecheen spent Sunday night in a house they're remodeling in the San Marco neighbourhood of Jacksonville after working late on a remodeling project.
Mr Caveney, 28, who married Zoe, 22, on August 5, said: "I've never seen rain or wind like it in my life".
"It's enormously important that every American in the path of this storm take the warnings of state and local officials to heart", Pence said.
Most of the power losses were in Florida, but losses in Georgia, which were at about 90,000 as of 6 a.m. ET, were expected to increase as the storm moved north.
The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical depression and is expected to peter out in the coming days.