Eight dead at Florida nursing home without power since Hurricane Irma

Frederick Owens
September 16, 2017

"We're conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred here", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez explained during a Wednesday press conference.

In a statement, the Rehabilitation Center Nursing Home said that as result of prolonged power failure due to Hurricane Irma, the home's transformer, which powered the air conditioning system broke down.

Devastated friends and family of the eight people who died at a Hollywood nursing home, are trying to piece together what happened, as a criminal investigation gets underway. Police and firefighters evacuated 115 residents from the facility.

Florida Power & Light provided electricity to parts of the nursing home but the facility was not on a county top-tier list for emergency power restoration, the utility said.

"Once we determined that we had multiple deaths at the facilities, and that the facilities are extremely hot, we made the decision to evacuate all of the patients", said City of Hollywood spokesperson Raelin Lohse-Storey. It also said the information on the power outage was relayed to FPL on Tuesday as "mission-critical". But after more deaths sparked new questions about conditions at the center, the body was claimed by the medical examiner.

One would think that the very bad photo of nursing-home residents in Houston, left to languish in waist-high water after Hurricane Harvey, would have made every facility in Florida cringe - and come up with a Plan A, B and C as Irma approached. The widow evacuated her Naples condominium with the help of police the day before the hurricane.

Aside from the nursing home deaths, at least 13 people in Florida were killed in Irma-related circumstances, many of them well after the storm had passed.

She said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and "we are concerned about their welfare". Three more were found dead on the second floor of the facility after rescue units were called in. He added: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that it was using portable air conditioners and fans".

Hurricane Irma: No power, blocked roads add to frustrations in Florida

Irma wreaked total devastation in parts of the Caribbean, where at least 43 people have died.

"Dr. Jack Michel in 2006 settled claims after he and five others were accused of agreeing to send patients to his Miami hospital, Larkin Community, for unnecessary treatment, according to the Department of Justice". In addition, the nursing home is situated in the same location as well.

Rubio, a Republican, tweeted that he is asking the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to review whether The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills "was in violation of any federal regulations".

An aide said later Sharief was also planning to visit the facility.

Memorial Regional Hospital began receiving patients early yesterday, said Dr Randy Katz, medical director of the hospital's emergency department.

The nursing home had been without air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity in the area.

More than 3 million utility customers in Florida remain without power in simmering temperatures. As a precaution, Hollywood police officers were checking on the 42 other assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the area.

In Green Cove Springs, on the St. John's River just south of Jacksonville, many families need a canoe to get to their front doors.

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