5 dead after Florida nursing home loses power due to Irma

Sep 14, 2017, 00:13
5 dead after Florida nursing home loses power due to Irma

Sanchez, the police chief, said a criminal investigation had been launched.

In the Miami area, a Coral Gables apartment building was evacuated after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants, while officers arrived at the huge Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines to help people on upper floors without access to working elevators. More than 300,000 customers in the county, or a third of the total, are still without power as of midday Wednesday.

Carbon monoxide from a generator is also suspected in the death of a man in Miami, while authorities say another dozen people were treated for carbon monoxide-related illnesses on Tuesday in Polk and Brevard counties.

Today, five nursing home patients in Hollywood succumbed to the Florida heat and died early this morning.

- SC had four deaths. At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean.

What they found was devastating: Based on initial estimates, 25% of the houses on the chain of islands have been destroyed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday.

It's still not clear how many casualties Irma caused on the Keys.

Lisa Baker, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who teaches a class on disaster preparedness and co-authored the book "Vulnerable Populations and Disasters", said each new catastrophe brings lessons of how to improve planning and response.

"I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place", Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

Florida residents are still returning from shelters to their households to count the cost of Irma's destruction.

President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were to visit Florida to survey the damage on Thursday. One of the biggest worries is the fate of Florida's many senior citizens.

Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida - but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods.

"We came here, leaving everything at home, and we go back to nothing", Lopez said.

An individual handling air conditioning for the facility told ABC affiliate WPLG that a fuse was damaged during Hurricane Irma, resulting in cooling issues for the past few days.

The nursing home has had a list of safety violations and citations, including two for not following generator regulations in 2014 and 2016. But the most recent state inspection reports showed no deficiencies in the area of emergency plans.

Retired nurse Flora Mitchell's 58-year-old sister Vanda Wilson has been as resident at Rehabilitation Center since suffering a stroke, which left her unable to speak or move, a decade ago.

It said that the center had failed to provide daily living activities, leaving one woman in her nightgown facing a television that had not been turned on and in a room with the curtains drawn and the lights out.

"There's nothing here", he told CNN's Chris Cuomo, who accompanied an urban search-and-rescue team, on Wednesday.

Relatives who have family members in the facility have started to gather outside the two-story gray building that is situated among a cluster of medical facilities and hospitals.

Most homes in the Keys have no power and there is practically no cell phone service or internet.

The storm also cut off power, water and sewage to the islands, which are home to some 70,000 people.

Police have now opened a criminal investigation into the deaths as the nursing home scrambles to evacuate the remaining 115 patients.

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