Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Hurricane Irma: 8 dead in Fla. nursing home that lost power

Hurricane Irma: 8 dead in Fla. nursing home that lost power

Residents have increasingly expressed anger at Florida Power & Light, the only electricity company on the East coast of Florida, for what they say was inadequate planning or structural reinforcements before the storm.

By Wednesday evening, the state had issued an emergency moratorium on the facility admitting new patients, and Hollywood Police were investigating whether any laws had been broken. Scott said the damage looked very bad from the air, but it looked much worse on the ground.

Police responded and made a decision to evacuate.

But most of the surviving patients "have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues", Regional Memorial Hospital spokesman Randy Katz told reporters. When asked by emergency workers whether they had any medical needs or emergencies, center officials "did not request assistance or indicate any medical emergency existed", Sharief said.

Raelin Story, a Broward County spokesperson, said fire rescue operatives arrived at the home to find the facilities sweltering hot, leaving numerous elderly patients unable to breathe.

Some 115 vulnerable people were evacuated from the residence in total.

Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life.

ELI PINA: After the hurricane, they were working on a generator because their AC broke because of Irma.

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Police opened a criminal investigation at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, north of Miami, where three elderly residents were found dead at the facility and three later died at a nearby hospital, officials said.

Though the number of people with electricity had drastically improved from earlier in the week, some 6.8 million people across the peninsula continued to wait for power, and utility officials warned it could take a week or more for all areas to be back up and running.

Police officials said other patients were in critical care at Memorial Regional Hospital.

A kitchen worker at the center told the Miami Herald that the facility "had power from a generator to cook meals, but no air conditioning".

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes, gives the Hollywood centre a below-average rating, two stars on its five-star scale.

The entire facility -which has two wings- was evacuated.

In a separate statement, the Florida Department of Health's Mara Gambineri wrote "this facility is located across the street from one of Florida's largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities. Maybe it did maybe it didn't, we don't know yet", he said. Police officers are conducting welfare checks at 42 other nursing home and assisted living facilities across Hollywood.

A phone number has been set up for family members to check on their loved ones: 954-265-1074.

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