Hurricane Irma killed three people when it struck the southern Florida Keys island chain as a more powerful Category 4 on Sunday. "The terminals with most damage are J, H, G, F and E", MIA Airport spokesman Greg Chinn said.
"This thing is a monster", he added.
"They can not help you until the storm has passed", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.
"This is going to be a very, very lengthy restoration, arguably the most lengthy restoration and most complex in US history", he said, asking that customers be patient.
However, the storm still sent storm surge waters into Miami.
Florida Power & Light, the state's major electricity provider, says it has almost 20,000 workers deployed around the state.
Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency effective at 8 a.m. Thursday and at 11 a.m. Thursday, authorities announced that a Hurricane Watch has been issued for parts of Florida.
While the projected track showed Irma raking the state's Gulf Coast, forecasters warned that the entire state - including the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people - was in extreme peril because of the sheer size of the storm.
Irma will slow even further and will likely become a tropical depression as it reaches eastern Alabama, he said. "It took longer to make that turn to the north that we started to see more over the last 12 hours".
Irma is still forecast to move away from North Carolina. Irma moves into Central Georgia.
"Our thoughts are with those who have felt the direct impact of this storm, and North Carolina stands ready to provide support as needed", said Cooper.
"We are doing everything we can to get food and water throughout the state", Scott said on Fox News Monday.
In Tallahassee, crews were pulled off the road early Monday because of high winds, according to NPR member station WFSU. Winds will not reach tropical strength in central North Carolina, but it will be breezy with gusts possibly as high as 30 to 35 miles per hour. But the scale of these storms and the sequence in which they struck, all put together, is unprecedented.