Eight elderly patients have died of heat exposure in a Miami nursing home after the huge impact of Hurricane Irma [VIDEO] that caused power loss and shut down air conditioning, Reuters reported. Homebound seniors found help from charities, churches and authorities.
Josh Levy, the mayor of Hollywood, said he urged mayors and county commissioners across the state to urge residents to check on elderly neighbors in their communities.
An FPL statement in response to Defede's report said that the facility was supposed to have an operational generator. Workers scrambled to keep patients cool with emergency stocks of ice and Popsicles. They said it would take until September 22 to get electricity back to the majority of customers in southwest Florida. "We were waiting and waiting for help that never came".
Jeffrey Nova said he learned of his mother's death Wednesday morning from a reporter who got his name and contact info from a nursing home employee.
Other areas of the state, however, remain largely incapacitated, including the Florida Keys, where an estimated quarter of the homes were destroyed. But after more deaths sparked new questions about conditions at the center, the body was claimed by the medical examiner.
Even though threats can be grave to seniors staying in facilities in the path of a storm, evacuations also can be deadly.
Sen Lauren Book, D-Plantation, announced Friday she would be filing a bill requiring all ALFs and nursing homes to have working generators.
"We're probably looking at across-the-board 15 to 20 per cent increase in property insurance costs over the next year", says Brad Hubbard, the Tampa owner of an insurance agency and an engineering consulting firm specializing in flood risk. "That's exactly why we asked them to leave". Big Pine, Little Torch, Summerland and Sugarloaf keys got the worst of the storm. "You're not going to convince a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor to do something that she doesn't want to do".
Some 4.3 million homes and businesses, or about 9 million people, were without power at midday Wednesday in Florida and nearby states.
Elsewhere, Irma was blamed for four deaths in SC and two in Georgia.
Hollywood, Fla., police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were heat-related.
Their ages ranged from 71 to 99, according to police. He says that as firefighters approached the home, their carbon monoxide detectors went off, which warned them of potential danger as they went inside. "Whoever was in charge, whoever was responsible, needs to be called onto the carpet for it".
The Rehabilitation Center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning.
Florida's post-Irma recovery picked up momentum Friday as power outages dropped and schools made plans to reopen.
An assisted living center that went without power for almost three days said that its efforts to run fans and keep breezes flowing between open windows could only go so far. Soon after, a third patient transport call came in, and the fire department sent over more crews, the City of Hollywood said in a statement.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said every house on the Florida Keys was impacted in some way.
State records revealed a variety of problems at the center. A 2012 report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found the vast majority of nursing homes comply with that requirement, but that serious gaps persisted.