Gov. Ricks Scott says "today is the day" to get out of the path of Hurricane Irma.
Scott warned residents to "leave, and get out quickly" if ordered to evacuate as Irma, now a Category 4 storm, takes direct aim at Florida.
Irma is expected to reach the Florida Keys by Sunday morning.
Scott said the storm surge is forecast to be 3 - 10 feet and some areas could see 20 inches of rain.
Scott implored people to do "the right thing and get inland for your family." The governor announced mandatory evacuations around the Lake Ockeechobee dike, located in the southern tip of the state. A mandatory evacuation is in effect for a portion of Broward County, including those who live in mobile homes or in low-lying areas.
The National Hurricane Center says Irma is less than 500 miles southeast of Miami with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles an hour.