Eight dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Cheryl Sanders
September 17, 2017

He said 32,000 homes and businesses in Hollywood were still without power.

"Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable". Sanchez also said investigators will look into how many windows were open.

Officials said 18 additional patients from a second adjoining facility were also being relocated due to the investigation, though these patients were "not medically compromised".

"What we know now is that a portion of the facility did, in fact, have power, that there was a hospital with power across the parking lot from this facility and that the nursing home was required to have a permanently installed, operational generator", said FPL's Peter Robbins in a statement.

"It's a sad state of affairs", the police chief said.

When asked why the patients hadn't been taken across the street to Memorial Regional hospital when temperatures became risky, Hollywood city spokeswoman Rayelin Storey said, "We can't get inside the heads of the staff and the administrators of this facility".

City officials in Hollywood, Florida, said the nursing home had continued to operate with little or no air conditioning after power to the building was disrupted by Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida on Sunday.

The death toll from Irma stood at 81 on Thursday, including 38 in the United States, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands accounting for more than half of the fatalities. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees recoiled and cut his carotid artery.

One person was found dead and three others were taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning in Daytona Beach, caused by fumes from a gas generator. By the afternoon, five more had died. Patients were treated for dehydration, breathing difficulties and other heat-related ills, authorities said.

Florida's fits and starts toward post-Irma recovery have shifted to urgent efforts to protect its vulnerable elderly residents after a string of nursing home deaths. County officials released documents showing that the Hollywood facility was in compliance with that regulation and that it held a hurricane drill with its staff in October.

In a letter to Scott Thursday, two state senators and one representative from Broward requested that the governor direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over the criminal investigation.

But kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the Miami Herald there was no air conditioning and the center had a generator that provided enough power to cook meals. All were admitted to the hospital or transferred to another nursing home.

WLRN says the Rehabilitation Center had a history of poor performance in state regulators' inspections.

But as Trump's comments about Scott suggested, politics wasn't far from the surface in Florida, the largest and most pivotal state in recent presidential elections.

Mr Trump has promised to return to Florida "numerous times" as thousands of people begin the painstaking task of rebuilding their homes - adding that Irma's destruction was on a scale "nobody has seen before".

Outages had fatal consequences at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, north of Miami.

"There were a number of very sick people". Utility officials warned it could take over a week for power to be fully restored.

Older people can be more susceptible to heat because their bodies do not adjust to temperatures as well as those of younger people.

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