More than 3 million people are believed to be without power and thousands of stations were without fuel as the monster storm moved through Florida and Georgia. Utilities were warning it could take weeks to restore power, and agricultural officials suggested more than $1 billion worth of crops are lost.
Florida is among the top growers of fresh tomatoes, oranges, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and sugar cane. AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses in the United States will be at least $15 billion from Irma.
Nearly the entire state came to a standstill due to Irma, which could also threaten major distribution centres of Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C. Ports in Florida remained closed and fuel shortages were expected to continue because the state relies on pipelines and tankers.
Meanwhile, efforts were underway. President Trump approved a request from Florida for a disaster declaration ordering federal aid to nine counties, including Miami-Dade and Hillsborough, which includes Tampa.