Six people dead after Florida nursing home loses power

Randolph Lopez
September 14, 2017

Six people at a Florida nursing home have died after residents were stuck in sweltering conditions following Hurricane Irma.

Residents at The Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills fell ill after the air conditioning stopped working, reports the Miami Herald.

Through a representative, Carballo told the SunSentinel newspaper that the home has a back-up generator but that it does not power the air conditioning.

Broward officials, including County Mayor Barbara Sharief and Police Chief Tom Sanchez, said the nursing home was evacuated this morning after residents woke up sick due to the heat. First responders evacuated 115 survivors at The Rehabilitation Center to nearby hospitals, including one across the street. Michel and other Larkin owners paid $15.4 million in 2006 to settle health care fraud claims filed against them by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the state of Florida.

Further north in Daytona Beach, police said one person died and three others were being treated at a hospital Wednesday for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator.

As of Tuesday evening, 114 of Florida's nursing homes were relying on generators for power. But she said when factors are constantly changing, it's impossible to have a plan that addresses every variable.

Police have started a criminal investigation into the deaths.

As a precautionary measure, Sanchez said he assigned officers to check the other 42 nursing homes throughout the city to make certain they're properly taking care of the elderly.

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"There are a number of critical patients", said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story.

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

Sharief said there are no details about the cause of the deaths. The center has had electricity and air-conditioning problems after Irma. More than 40 died in the Caribbean.

"Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to help with search-and-rescue operations in Florida on Monday as a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation".

Gusts topping 90 miles per hour whipped Miami on Sunday, knocking out power to most of the city's residents. The facility was bought at a bankruptcy auction two years ago after its previous owner when to prison for Medicare fraud, according to news reports at the time of the sale.

Florida officials have made restoring electricity to the millions who have lost power a priority and tens of thousands of utility company workers, many from out of state, are engaged in the huge effort.

Officials warn it could take upward of 10 days for power to be fully restored.

Retired nurse Flora Mitchell's 58-year-old sister Vanda Wilson has been as resident at Rehabilitation Center since suffering a stroke, which left her unable to speak or move, a decade ago.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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