The storm affected communities miles inland from Jacksonville, as strong winds blew over part of a Chevron gas station in the city of Live Oak.
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.
High winds alone could bring down many power lines, she said, and other lines could be damaged by falling trees. Emergency crews made rescues throughout the night.
"We are good so far", she said in a text message just before 5:30 a.m.
Islands such as Barbuda, Saint Martin and Anguilla suffered major damage when Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, tore through them, killing at least eight on Saint Martin alone, and islanders had waited anxiously for news of Jose.
Christian relief groups are mobilizing to help in recovery efforts with Irma, much like they did with Hurricane Harvey and the damage it caused in Texas.
In Jacksonville, at the far northeast corner of Florida, Irma set a new coastal flood record, beating the one set during 1964's Hurricane Dora.
The most recent model data shows the center of Hurricane Irma could arrive in south Georgia as a weaker tropical storm Monday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move near the north coast of Cuba and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday.
- Affected states include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.
When people think about hurricanes, they tend to think more about the dangers related to powerful winds, and less about the dangers of rising, fast-moving waters.
Water appears to be disappearing from waterways around Tampa Bay.
NHC forecasters said the storm's wind speeds will increase after Irma passes Cuba then slips into the extremely warm waters near the Keys. There are reports of flooding and three confirmed fatalities, which push the death toll from Irma to at least 13.
Broward and Palm Beach Counties, as well as the cities of Miami and Miami Beach in Miami-Dade County, have issued such curfews in order to prevent people from venturing out in potentially life-threatening conditions. No injuries have been reported. "I have been out and around the city today, and I have witnessed the heroes getting people out of their homes, and it is going to continue".