Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

6 dead at Florida nursing home after Irma knocks out power

6 dead at Florida nursing home after Irma knocks out power

But Hollywood Hills' 43-page plan, approved by the Broward County Emergency Management Division in July, makes no mention of emergency power.

"What we've seen is something extremely tragic that points to the need to having plans in advance when it comes to emergency preparation".

"Our son was very uncomfortable - he couldn't sleep, he was sweating, and he was out of his routine", said Guillen, sitting in the lobby of the hotel with her family.

At least 25 people died when Irma pounded the Southeast earlier this week, including 12 people in Florida. This has cut off air conditioning for scores of Floridians, and it poses an acute danger for the particularly young or old in a state known for its sweltering temperatures.

Meanwhile, heat and humidity are gripping Florida, adding to the misery and dangers of Irma recovery efforts.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities, and officials continued to assess damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the US mainland this year. The mayor has sent out an alert to other areas in Florida to conduct a welfare check on all elderly residents because of the heat.

Among the state's almost 700 nursing facilities, about 150 lacked power as of Wednesday morning, said the Florida Health Care Association, which represents most of the homes. "Approximately 150 facilities out of the almost 700 facilities in the state do not now have full power services restored".

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It barreled into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour) before plowing up the Gulf Coast of the state and dissipating.

Rising temperatures and a lack of power have made it hard for the elderly and children in the days since Irma. Scott said he was directing state agencies to worth with local law enforcement to investigate the incident.

Like clockwork, stories of suffering by the oldest residents in the line of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters seem to follow. That toll also included two people in Georgia killed when trees fell on them and a man in Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando, apparently electrocuted by a downed power line in a roadway.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "absolutely heartbroken" over the deaths, calling the situation "unfathomable".

Even as Irma dissipated and moved inland, another danger emerged for those without power: generators.

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". About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state. Four more would expire at the hospital by the time the evacuation was complete. "But nobody from the facility has told me anything yet".

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