Storm surge of more than 10 feet was recorded in the Keys, where furniture and appliances were seen floating away and the ocean filled with hazards including sunken boats, AP said.
Irma is expected to reach Tampa Bay later tonight, though high winds will arrive much sooner. That's 64 percent of the state's power customers, and there are several counties where 80-90 percent of customers are without power.
Irma's next target is Naples, north of Miami, where the storm has now made landfall again. FOX 5 Storm Team's Joanne Feldman said wind gusts will be strongest from about 2 p.m. until midnight. In the Caribbean, at least 24 were people were killed during Irma's destructive trek across exclusive islands known as the vacation playground for the rich.
Some 166,000 people in Georgia, including more than 17,000 in the city of Savannah, lost power as the outer bands of the storm lashed the state.
Hurricane Jose had threatened some of the areas in the Caribbean, like St Martin and the Virgin Islands, that were battered by Irma only days ago.
Wednesday we might see a little extra cloud cover on the back side of Irma has it rides up into the Tennessee Valley near Memphis.
Where is the storm now?
People in the heavily populated Tampa-St. Nursing homes, shelters, major thoroughfares are priorities.
The National Hurricane Center said Irma is expected to remain powerful as it heads north along the state's Gulf Coast.
The storm made landfall at Marco Island at 15:35 local time. It now seems the city will not be hit by the worst of Irma, but as the AP report above says, it will still take a severe battering. Miami saw winds up to 159km/h.
The intracoastal waterway splashes over the sea wall in West Palm Beach as Hurricane Irma moves through Florida Sunday.