Kenny Chesney’s home is ‘simply gone’ due to Hurricane Irma, but he says the people are more important

Kenny Chesney's home on the U.S. Virgin Island of Saint John has been destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

The country singer was not in the area at the time of the storm, but he opened his home so several people and their pets could take shelter.

He described the devastation to HLN's Robin Meade, saying his home was “simply gone,” but the people in the area are more important to him.

Irma strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it inched closer to Florida, where hundreds of thousands are without power hours before one of the most powerful storms in the Atlantic hits.

Irma was 40 miles southeast of Key West early Sunday with winds of 130 mph. The storm started approaching the Florida Keys at about 7 a.m.

Outer rain bands hammered the Florida Keys with whipping winds, heavy rain and powerful surges as it tore itself away from Cuba's northern coast.