"Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way", Long said Tuesday.
Early Sunday afternoon, the maximum surge at Cudjoe Key was estimated at 10 feet.
Almost the entire Florida coastline remained under hurricane watches and warnings, and the latest projections could shift again, sparing or savaging other parts of the state.
Mass evacuations sent throngs onto jammed highways heading north and created a severe gas shortage in some parts the state.
Irma then sloshed through Georgia and Alabama as a tropical storm, blowing down tall trees and power lines, before dissipating Tuesday over Tennessee and Ohio.
Communities along Georgia's coast were swamped by storm surge and rainfall arriving at high tide on Monday afternoon.
Federal officials are urging residents to remain patient.
The governor described overturned mobile homes, washed-ashore boats and rampant flood damage. Can you just give us a sense of what's it like for you?
"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face". "We've got debris all over the state". On Tuesday the city started to recover, but meteorologists warned that some flooding is likely to return as storm-generated waters rush south from the Carolinas toward the Atlantic Ocean.
The hurricane re-strengthened to Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (210 kph).
Georgia: Three deaths reported.
In Lake County, 69 miles per hour winds were measured at 3:46 a.m.at Leesburg International Airport. Buckhorn, a Democrat, says that while he's not willing to blame Irma on climate change, he believes a serious discussion about climate change and rising seas must happen soon.
Officials in other states are also keeping an eye on Irma. SC: A 57-year-old SC man was fatally hit by a falling tree limb during the storm, Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley told CNN.
Prolonged power outages remains a risk for the elderly through the region, Sharief said.
Alabama: 20,000 customers were without power, according to Alabama Power. About a half-million of them do not reside in Florida.
More than 1.2 million Georgia Power and EMC customers mostly in coastal and south Georgia were without power.
Those with power restored include more than 300,000 customers in metro Atlanta.
State Senate Banking and Insurance Chairwoman Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican whose district also covers the Keys, said the state has to make sure state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has the funds to cover individual property-insurance claims, particularly from the Keys.
That track near the north coast of Cuba has had an effect on Irma's intensity, but that is largely expected to be academic relative to Irma's future impact on Florida.
A scrap yard full of vehicles is seen covered by floodwater in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Callahan, Fla. They were working in the dark, and in the heat. There is no safe area within the Keys.
Hurricane Irma bludgeoned Florida on Sunday morning, snapping trees like matchsticks and knocking out power to more than 1 million people.
Most airports in Florida have reopened, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Tampa, Sarasota and Jacksonville.
"This is likely to be one of the largest and most complex power restoration efforts in US history", said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.
MARTIN: What can you tell us about the kind of storm Hurricane Irma is turning out to be?
In Big Pine Key, which was cut off from the other islands by water and a large pole Monday, houses were seen smoldering.
Nearly the entire state of Florida is under a hurricane warning affecting at least 36 million people, with concerns of catastrophic gales, torrential rain rain and deadly storm surges.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office warned residents along the St. Johns River to "Get out NOW".
Irma flooded portions of the Battery, the downtown Charleston neighborhood, prompting police to ask residents to avoid the area.
The number of deaths blamed on Irma in Florida climbed to 12, in addition to four in SC and two in Georgia. Petersburg area had feared a first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921, but the storm weakened to a Category 2 as it approached that area.
Last month, Trump paid two visits to Texas after Hurricane Harvey tore through the state leaving behind extensive flooding.