Florida post-Irma recovery picks up momentum, but dangers persist

Florida post-Irma recovery picks up momentum, but dangers persist

Florida post-Irma recovery picks up momentum, but dangers persist

Officials said about 1.9 million homes and businesses were without power, including 64 nursing homes. Eight people died and 145 patients had to be moved out of the stifling-hot facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs.

The nursing home said it took precautions before Irma hit, placing 10 spot coolers and fans around the facility, according to the timeline provided by Hill and Knowlton, the center's public relations firm. Eight people died at a nursing home when the hurricane knocked out power and the facility lost air conditioning.

Facing a situation that was out of control, doctors and fire officials ultimately chose to transfer all the patients to the hospital, where dozens were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat exhaustion, officials said. The medical examiner's office said the victims were five women and three men, ages 70 to 99.

The facility said an official with its parent company made calls on Monday and Tuesday to several state agencies to report the problem.

Exactly how the deaths happened was under investigation, with Sanchez saying authorities have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators. That patient was transported to a hospital, police said.

Nursing homes in Florida are required by law to file an emergency plan that includes evacuation plans for residents.

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The deaths came as people trying to put their lives back together in hurricane-stricken Florida and beyond confronted a multitude of new hazards in the storm's aftermath, including tree-clearing accidents and lethal generator fumes.

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.

The city first "became [aware] a crisis was unfolding at the facility after multiple calls in the early morning hours" Wednesday, city spokesperson Raelin Storey said this morning.

Instead of caving to lobbyists and dismantling critical regulations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should improve enforcement so that no more people in nursing homes end up dying for no good reason.

Older people can be more susceptible to heat because their bodies do not adjust to temperatures as well as young people. Moulder's mother was released from the hospital to a new nursing home. The center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with them for status updates on when repairs would be made. The number of people in shelters fell to under 13,000.

And at the huge, 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, more than half the residential buildings had no power Wednesday afternoon.

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Florida Sen. Bill Nelson called the six deaths in Hollywood "an inexcusable tragedy" and demanded a federal investigation.

Several nursing homes have been evacuated because of a lack of power or air conditioning, while utility workers raced help dozens of others still lacking electricity as of Thursday.

"We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep our seniors safe during this hard time", he said. "How horrific does it have to be?" said Lee, executive director of Texas-based Families for Better Care, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization.

Even on normal days many people in nursing homes face grave risks.

President Donald Trump returned on Thursday to the storm-swept American South, handing out food and meeting with survivors on the Gulf coast of Florida, where Hurricane Irma raged last weekend.

"She was a friend", Johnson said. "You're not going to convince a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor to do something that she doesn't want to do".

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The complaint is also requesting the surveillance video from the center to determine what measures were taken before, during and after the center found out that the air conditioning was not working properly. Both of her parents are still being treated after the ordeal, but she said she does not know which facility she will place them in when they are discharged soon.

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