Almost 7.2 million homes and businesses are without power in multiple states as Tropical Storm Irma moves through the Southeast.
"This thing is a monster", he added.
Hurricane Irma's projected path has shifted greatly in recent days, but National Guard personnel will deploy to Charlotte and other areas of the state, Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday, as the storm is still expected to impact North Carolina on Monday and Tuesday.
"This is going to be a very, very lengthy restoration, arguably the most lengthy restoration and most complex in USA history", he said, asking that customers be patient.
With the arrival of what is potentially one of the most devastating storms to ever hit Florida, officials have set aside 3.2 million liters (0.85 million gallons) of water, filled 67 trailers with meals, and amassed 24,000 tarps. Tornadoes were also spotted through the southern part of the state.
As of Sunday night, 112,759 customers for Tampa Electric had lost power, the utility said on its website.
Meanwhile, in Nacogdoches, a Vidor man taking shelter at the Civic Center said he was forced out of his home because of Hurricane Harvey.
This is the first year on record that the continental United States has had two Category 4 hurricane landfalls in the same year.
MIAMI - Hurricane Irma's northern bands have begun striking the Keys, sending its strongest winds to the region of up to 130 miles per hour, according to a 7 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
Staging areas are shifting west with Irma to be ready to work when the storm passes. The storm left at least 27 people dead as it tore across the Caribbean. Irma moves into Central Georgia.
Irma is still forecast to move away from North Carolina.
North Carolina remains in the storm's potential track.
American Airlines said earlier Sunday that limited operations at its Miami hub would resume at 5 p.m. Monday, but that plan was shelved with the airport's latest announcement.
In Tallahassee, crews were pulled off the road early Monday because of high winds, according to NPR member station WFSU.