More than 800,000 Georgia Power and EMC customers mostly in coastal and south Georgia were without power and around 800 flights had been canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned".
FPL said its two nuclear plants in Florida were safe. Later on, there would not be much to see as the surging rains and floods carry on into the evening.
Officials say Irma's center will move over the western Florida peninsula Monday morning, and further into the southeast US later Monday evening.
Irma made a second landfall as a Category 3 storm at Marco Island, a city and barrier island off Florida's southwest coast, on Sunday afternoon. Now a tropical storm, the system is still capable of producing hurricane-strength gusts, and maximum sustained winds of about 113km/h.
10 people have been killed in Florida, Georgia and SC.
State government offices are closed, as are public schools and state college and universities.
The hurricane was responsible for at least 26 deaths, including 10 in Cuba, as it passed through Caribbean island nations.
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