High winds snapped power lines and left about 4.5 million Florida homes and businesses without power in the state, whose economy represents about 5 per cent of USA gross domestic product.
"It's frightful, what we saw", Scott said.
Scott told reporters that he flew over both areas on Monday and saw many overturned mobile homes and boats washed ashore in the Keys. "It's the road. It's being able to get supplies down", Newman said.
No timetable for reopening the remainder of the Keys was given. The governor said the route also needs to be cleared of debris and sand, but should be usable fairly quickly. "There is flooding throughout the city". Nursing homes, shelters, major thoroughfares are priorities.
Irma hit Florida has a Category 3 storm, bringing 142-mile-per-hour wind gusts and "catastrophic" storm surge, according to weather forecasting officials.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos also suffered damage. Curfews were declared in numerous communities on Sunday evening, including Tampa, St. Petersburg and the central Florida resort city of Orlando as several Florida counties reported arrests of looters taking advantage of homes left vacant by evacuations.
- A 57-year-old SC man was fatally injured by a falling tree limb during the storm, Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley told CNN.
As Hurricane Irma swept through South Florida, power company officials warned yesterday that restoring electricity to more than 2 million homes and businesses will be a slow and unsafe process that will take weeks. The officials also instructed residents to beware of downed power lines.
In the dark: Most of the city (72%) is without power, the mayor said. More than 2.6 million homes and businesses go dark as power is cut off across the state.
Travel into and out of the state likewise remained stymied.
Miami International Airport, one of the busiest in the country, halted passenger flights through at least Monday and will see if it can resume those operations on Tuesday.
Police in Miami-Dade County and Fort Lauderdale reported making 48 arrests for looting.
Amy Phuong, parks and recreation commissioner for the city, says six crews were already handling calls for felled trees around the city on Monday afternoon, as winds and rain began to intensify. At one point, Irma's reach extended from South Florida to Jacksonville, its girth eclipsing the size of the state itself.
An estimated 170,000 people were lodged in some 650 emergency shelters as of early evening, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The crowd included Don Sciarretta, 73, and his 90-year-old friend, Elsie Johnston, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. "It's going to be a massive cleanup", he said.