For more than a week - 8.5 days - Irma was a major hurricane, which Klotzbach says puts it second only to Hurricane Ivan in 2004 in the satellite era (which began in 1966).
Adjutant General Robert Livingston said Sunday that 650 National Guard members were ready to be deployed as soon as Irma passes - including an infantry battalion and a transportation company.
More than four million customers were without power throughout the state, according to Florida's Division of Emergency Management.
"What we really fear more than anything is that storm surge", Buckhorn told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Sunday.
Thirty linemen will go to Florida Tuesday, Santee Cooper's Gore said, and other crews may follow. Miami International Airport, one of the busiest in the country, halted passenger flights through at least Monday. "It was like 5 hours".
Looters, she joked, could help themselves to anything they wanted.
Cuba's Civil Defense has reported 10 casualties after Hurricane Irma ravished the island, while Cuban President Raul Castro released a statement emphasizing the need for organization to recover from the storm.
That's because some islands are extremely hard to access.
Massive storm surges have flooded areas across South Florida, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, while downed trees and power lines have left over 2 million residents without power. "Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way", he said.
Oil prices in the USA early Monday rose 0.6% to $47.77 a barrel after reports said Saudi Arabia's oil minister held talks with Venezuela and Kazakhstan on a possible extension of an agreement to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018. "In affected areas, where conditions are safe enough, crews will continue to evaluate the damage and restore power as quickly as possible".
In addition to the destruction the storm has brought, Irma knocked out power to more than 60 percent of Florida's homes and businesses.
Charleston Harbor: Waters in Charleston Harbor peaked at almost 10 feet high, the city's third-highest reading, topping Hurricane Matthew a year ago, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said. There are widespread water and power outages, and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authorities issued a precautionary boil water notice.
"It's the worst storm I've ever seen", said Bill South of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Although Miami is likely to escape a direct strike from Irma, the hurricane is tracking up Florida's west coast, it has still faced extensive damage.
Late Sunday, as the storm moved up Florida's west coast, officials said 28,000 people had taken refuge in 45 county shelters in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa.
In and around Orlando, where the back end of the hurricane still lashed out with rain and high winds, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and Sea World, all remained closed through Monday, Sept. 11. Flooding was reported along Interstate 4, which cuts across Florida's midsection.