Irma weakened early Monday to a tropical storm as it continued on a northward path through Florida. "The hurricane gave us a little break by going slightly in another direction from what was planned, but it's still a unsafe storm that still has a lot of danger out there".
Water levels will continue to be elevated above normally dry land along parts of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from central Florida to coastal SC.
By late Sunday night, Florida officials said there were shelters open in 64 of Florida's 67 counties - 573 shelters across the state, holding 155,000 people, The Washington Post reported.
"But most of the sustained winds is about 15 to 30 miles per hour", Wendel said.
So far, Hurricane Irma has left 26 dead since it first made landfall on September 6 in the Caribbean islands.
About 5.6 million people in Florida - more than one quarter of the state's population - have been ordered to evacuate, and another 540,000 were told to leave the Georgia coast.
"Due to its recent more inland push, Irma's center is now forecast to remain over Florida and then move over the southeastern United States for the duration of its existence", the weather service said, predicting it would become a tropical depression over MS by Tuesday afternoon and dissipate over adding that it should dissipate over Tennessee on Wednesday.
To report a power outage in Florida, locate the contact information for your provider on the state Public Service Commission's website. They also have asked the federal government to kick in 11 million meals and millions more gallons of water, plus almost 700 cases of baby supplies.
Over four million homes in Florida were left without power, according to reports, with some areas of the city of Miami now under water.
But the governor said Florida does have a shortage of nurses and urged volunteers to come forward.
Jose peaked as a Category 4 hurricane last week but had weakened to a Category 2 storm with 105 miles per hour winds, the hurricane center said.
Tornadoes could also spin up in coastal areas from northeast Georgia to southeast SC where a tornado watch was in effect.
In fact, 40% of all U.S. hurricanes strike Florida, NOAA says. "Get out of here and get out of here in a hurry", Durda said.
Why Florida? Well, Atlantic hurricanes form over warm water in the tropics and typically move west-northwest with the prevailing winds.
As a Category 5 storm, Irma cut across the northern coast of Cuba, where at least 10 people were killed, according to The Guardian.