Tropical Storm Irma dumped rain and whipped waves as it pressed north Monday, flooding cities including Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.
Images of Charleston showed powerful waves crashing onto the shore and a waterlogged downtown. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division urged people to stay where they are if they are "safely able to do so."
Nearly the entire state of Georgia was under a flash flood warning Monday. The Ohoopee River near Reidsville and the Canoochee River near Claxton are forecast to flood by Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said.
"Area rivers beginning to respond to #Irma rains. These locations forecast to flood by late tonight/early tomorrow AM. #GAwx #SCwx"
The St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, experienced its worst flooding levels since 1846, the city said.
"This is an incident of historic proportions. The St. Johns River has not seen these flooding levels since 1846. #HurricaneIrma #JaxReady"
Some people tried driving around Jacksonville on Monday despite the police department's warnings.
"For those contemplating driving around (down)town today...this seems to be a recurring theme. #JSO recommends not."
In Gainesville, Florida, some people ignored warnings — and barricades.
"Folks. We can SEE you driving around the barricade, through the flood. Also you're driving on someone's front yard. And moving barricades."
Irma churned about 10 miles east of Albany, Georgia, and 150 miles south of Atlanta as of 4:30 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm has left nearly 6.7 million people in Alabama, Georgia and Florida without power.
The storm is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain, up to 10 inches in isolated areas, in South Carolina, north-central Georgia and Alabama into the southern Appalachians, the NHC said. It is anticipated to bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to northern Mississippi and southern portions of Tennessee and North Carolina.