Florida nursing home death toll rises to six

Florida nursing home death toll rises to six

Florida nursing home death toll rises to six

Six people are dead after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, according to ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

Two elderly residents were found dead at the nursing home, and three later died at a hospital.

Some residents were evacuated on early Sunday morning and some woke up feeling sick at the center, which had been without air conditioning, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said.

Officials were investigating a number of deaths believed to be related to the storm, though it was not clear whether Irma was directly responsible in every case.

A state official eventually said they found a generator and gas, but it was not needed: The power turned back on.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities, and officials continued to assess damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the USA mainland this year. Gallagher said it was the first time the facility admitted it had no power.

The air conditioning was out, but Sanchez said it remained under investigation whether power was entirely cut.

"Parts of the facility itself were energized 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.

Police said 145 people were evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital on Wednesday: 141 from the nursing home and four from an adjacent behavioral health center.

Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "absolutely heartbroken" over the deaths, calling the situation "unfathomable". Some were in critical condition and taken to area hospitals.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, residents faced widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness.

The move is being done "to make the residents more comfortable", Henderson said.

The five women and three men ranged in age from 70 to 99.

Officials said 18 additional patients from a second adjoining facility were also being relocated due to the investigation, though these patients were "not medically compromised".

City spokeswoman Raelin Story said 115 seniors were evacuated from the nursing home, and some were in respiratory distress, the Sentinel reported.

Representatives of the for-profit nursing home, which had received a "below average" grade from Medicare's rating system for such facilities, could not immediately be reached for comment. "I would be remiss if i didn't say our deepest sympathies goes out to the families of those (who) lost their lives", Gould said. Authorities had feared a much slower detour route might be necessary if the Santa Fe River flooded the interstate near Gainesville.

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