"There is imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast, including the Florida Keys, where a storm surge warning is in effect", the hurricane center said.
Thousands more face being caught up in the hurricane as Irma shifted westward, meaning that its centre is now expected to move over the west side of the state's peninsula, rather than the east as originally forecast.
As photos and videos taken from the various scenes of the storms show, however, Hurricane Irma has brought ferocious winds and the potential for catastrophic storm surges with it.
President Trump announced on Sunday he would make a trip to south Florida in the near future, while in the meantime keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma's progress on the state's west coast.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (195 kph), dropping it to a Category 3, the midpoint of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.
"We are on the first floor, and we are prepared to go to a higher level if we see any waters rising", she said.
US weather authorities reported that after the storm strengthened, winds up to 200 kph (124 mph) were recorded in the storm's eyewall.
ABC News reports a Monroe County man was killed after losing control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength.
The Georgia Department of Transportation asked residents to stay put until the storm passes. But the possibility that third-quarter growth, at the very least, may slow down, could well throw a jolt into market behavior. "I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself".
Governor Scott added that tornadoes could also sweep through the state in the next 24 hours. "It is time to take this storm seriously". The spiral bands will continue to release episodes of torrential rain and produce brief spin-up twisters. "As important as football is to all of us, these kinds of events provide perspective when you're talking about life-threatening events and the aftermath ramifications".
The main threat in the Lowcountry is coastal flooding from the likely combination of high seasonal tides and Irma's rain.
"This will cover your house", he said.