NHC experts predict that Irma will once again be strengthening once it moves away from Cuba and will remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida..
"We have a dog and there were not that many shelters that accepted dogs", the woman said.
The forecast track has the center of the storm moving near the northwestern coast of the Florida peninsula on Monday morning, crossing the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia on Monday afternoon.
The latest from the National Weather Service has Hurricane Irma is now heading for Florida's West Coast.
Irma's winds were down to 60 miles per hour.
Matthew Spuler, who has been documenting the severe rain and winds from a sky-rise on Instagram, shared a video that showed the flooded streets in the downtown part of the city.
As Irma moves inland, more than 45 million people will face tropical storm conditions.
"A few tornadoes are possible across northeast Florida and southeast portions of Georgia and SC through tonight", the hurricane center said. "Included in the hurricane warnings are the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Thomasville and Valdosta".
More than 3.4 million homes in the state are without power, and parts of the city of Miami are under water.
Forecasters said Irma could push 4-6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) of storm surge into coastal areas as far north as Charleston, South Carolina.
Florida governor Rick Scott had warned residents in the state's evacuation zones Saturday that "this is your last chance to make a good decision". Almost 540,000 people in Savannah and the rest of coastal Georgia were under evacuation orders for the second time since last October, when Hurricane Matthew raked the coast en route to SC.
"Supply trucks are filled with food, water, hygiene supplies, and other items".
The gas shortages were exacerbated by "panic-buying" earlier this week from Florida residents anxious about Hurricane Irma's uncertain path. "Food packets, water, and some essential supplies have been distributed to those affected".
With Irma's eye beyond the Florida Keys, officials are starting to inspect the damage there.
"For those people who left, they don't know when they're getting back in - it might be another two weeks, so now that we're here we can actually start to take care of the problem and rebuild and clean up and go from there", Laufle said.