6 die at Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocks out AC

6 die at Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocks out AC

Hollywood police chief Tom Sanchez said officers and fire crews responded this morning to a call from the facility about patients in need of critical care.

A criminal investigation has been launched into the deaths of eight patients at a Florida nursing home in Irma's aftermath.

Elderly residents were evacuated Wednesday morning from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills which lost power during the storm.

Three died at the nursing home, and the rest died after being evacuated to Memorial Healthcare System facilities, city officials said.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities as officials continue to assess the damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the USA mainland this year.

And to think: We nearly escaped Hurricane Irma's ire without a senseless loss of life.

Eight people are dead after the Florida nursing home where they resided suffered a loss of power due to Hurricane Irma, according to media reports.

Florida residents who evacuated ahead of the storm faced lengthy traffic jams, meanwhile, as they returned to check out their homes after days in shelters or with friends or family.

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

She said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and "we are concerned about their welfare".

People at the facility began to call 911 during the afternoon on September 12, and emergency crews arrived to help patients.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said officials were providing ice to 27 senior residence facilities still without power, local media reported.

She said Hibbard had difficulty breathing the day before she died and wondered why no one was trying to get help for the people earlier. The facility had no electrical power after Hurricane Irma struck the state on Sunday, officials said. That includes a 57-year-old man struck by a tree limb during the storm in Calhoun Falls; a 54-year-old man who died in a mobile home because of carbon monoxide poisoning while a generator was running; and a man who died in a vehicle crash in Richland County.

All 115 patients from the rehabilitation center were evacuated to hospitals, officials said.

Jack Michel, the sole person listed on the nursing home's corporate registration in Florida, appears to have been accused of fraudulent activity in the past. "We have other patients in critical care", he said, though he didn't elaborate.

He said he visited his father, Miguel Antonio Franco and his mother just last week, and they seemed fine.

Gould said FPL met with Broward County officials in March before the storm season to discuss what facilities would be prioritized for power restoration this year.

Memorial Regional Hospital, a facility across from the nursing home, was identified as a top priority by the county and had power, Gould said.

"We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep our seniors safe during this hard time", he said.

The hospital has set up a hotline, 954-265-1074, so that families of nursing home residents can check on their loved ones.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, one of the chief hardships facing Floridians has been widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness.

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