Eight dead after Irma knocks out air conditioning at Florida nursing home

Posted September 14, 2017

Sharief said as far as power restoration goes, as of Wednesday morning 34 percent of the county remains without power.

Nursing homes in Florida are required by state and federal law to file an emergency plan that includes evacuation plans for residents.

They do not, however, represent the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

The 152-bed rehabilitation center was fined $5,500 on February 18, 2016, according to a Medicare website.

Officials have not released the names of the victims, but the cousin of one of the victims identified her as 99-year-old Alvertina Vega. The other three deaths occurred at or en route to a hospital, police said.

Meanwhile, one of the main highways that connects Florida to the rest of the country is in danger of being closed because of flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.

Florida governor Rick Scott said the state's top priorities are getting fuel delivered to gas stations and turning the power back on for those affected.

The Keys felt Irma's full fury when the hurricane roared in on Sunday with 130mph winds but the extent of the damage has been an unanswered question for days because some places have been unreachable.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort swept up in Hurricane Irma evacuation
On Friday morning, projections indicated that it was likely Irma will take the "worst case scenario" path into the Sunshine State. Though the storm was powerful, the AP could only find evidence of some downed trees and missing roof tiles at Mar-a-Lago.

As of Tuesday evening, 114 of Florida's nursing homes were relying on generators for power.

"Parts of the facility itself were energised by FPL, I can't give you anything more specific than that at this point", FPL spokesman Rob Gould told a news conference, referring to the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills.

A total of 115 people were evacuated from the home and taken to area hospitals "due to conditions in the facility", Hollywood police said.

The fort's docking pier and some interior facilities were also damaged by the storm, though National Park Service officials said no artifacts were damaged. The facility itself has power, the individual said. The company met with officials in Broward County in early March, he said. The association hosted daily disaster calls with nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to help them prepare for the storm. More than half the community of 15,000 residents lacked power.

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.

While a nursing home has been at that location almost 50 years, the Rehabilitation Center's name and registration are only two years old. She said her sister could not talk or walk.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson called the six deaths in Hollywood "an inexcusable tragedy" and called on authorities to get to the bottom of it.

-Melanie Evans contributed to this article.

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