Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

6 at South Florida nursing home die amid post-Irma blackout

6 at South Florida nursing home die amid post-Irma blackout

Eight people have died after a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, was evacuated Wednesday morning, days after it lost power as Hurricane Irma swept through the region, according to multiple reports.

Three people died at the facility in Hollywood, Florida, and three others were pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, the city of Hollywood said Wednesday afternoon.

Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm. Like many places in South Florida, the nursing home has been without power since being blasted by tropical storm winds with hurricane gusts on the edge of Hurricane Irma.

Authorities say it appears Interstate 75 will remain open throughout Florida for people returning home after fleeing Hurricane Irma because a potential flooding threat has subsided. In 2014 and 2016, the nursing home was cited for not adhering to regulations related to generators in case of just such an emergency but had become compliant.

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Utilities in the southeast US have restored power to almost half of the homes and businesses knocked out by Hurricane Irma, leaving 4.3M customers representing ~9M in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas without power as of midday today.

Even though threats can be grave to seniors staying in facilities in the path of a storm, evacuations also can be deadly.

Florida has more than 680 nursing homes that house about 73,000 residents, the Florida Health Care Association said.

Further north in Daytona Beach, police said one person died and three others were being treated at a hospital Wednesday for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator.

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Jon says that "apparently, the facility lost some, but not all of its power after Hurricane Irma".

Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills facility has been sealed off and police are conducting a criminal investigation.

Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths were heat-related, adding it was a "sad event".

While sheltering in place can be preferable at times, she said, doing so requires planning to survive the aftermath. And at the huge, 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, where there were also widespread outages, rescue workers went door to door in the 94-degree heat checking on residents and bringing ice, water, and meals.

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Trump was traveling to Naples and Fort Myers on Florida's southwestern coast to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts. Three more residents were found dead on the second floor of the facility, and another was already with the coroner. But Hollywood Hills' 43-page plan, approved by the Broward County Emergency Management Division in July, makes no mention of emergency power. Authorities had feared a much slower detour route might be necessary if the Santa Fe River flooded the interstate near Gainesville.

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