Florida deaths in sweltering nursing home show post-disaster perils

Florida deaths in sweltering nursing home show post-disaster perils

The death toll left behind by Hurricane Irma continued to rise Wednesday, as six people died at a South Florida nursing home that apparently was without air conditioning amid ongoing power outages statewide, according to local officials.

North Carolina reported its first Irma-related death on Friday after a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and two more people died in Florida from the risky fumes, including a woman in Palm Beach County.

In the USA, around 4.3 million homes and businesses, or about nine million people, were without power in Florida and nearby states today, according to Reuters.

Officers ordered an evacuation of the building and 115 patients were taken to nearby hospitals.

At least 56 of Florida's 639 nursing homes are still without power, according to CBS News. Utility officials warned it could take over a week for power to be fully restored. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state.

Elsewhere around the state, a Coral Gables apartment building was evacuated after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants.

People who fled their homes in hard-hit islands including St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were all but cut off from the world for days arrived in San Juan late Tuesday.

The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration gave the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills a "below average" rating. The President said that "We did have two horrific storms, epic storms, but if you go back into the 30's and 40's and you go back into the teens, you'll see storms that were very similar and even bigger". Many of those were homes and businesses that will have to undergo repairs before they are ready to receive electricity again. Florida Light and Power has been called for several days to fix the issue, but crews have not yet been able to come to the home.

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"You couldn't tell there was a road there", said a resident.

"Protecting the lives of Floridians is my top priority, and that's why we have worked all week to help Floridians prepare and respond to Hurricane Irma", the governor added. But the extent of the damage has been an unanswered question for days because some places have been unreachable. The police say - also said that when they got to the second floor, it was really hot.

President Donald Trump couldn't resist injecting a dose of politics into his tour of storm-damaged Florida on Thursday, saying Republican Gov. Rick Scott is doing such a good job with the recovery effort that he should run for the Senate.

In the dining hall on Wednesday, staff members were pressing cold rags on patients' shoulders and necks.

The Miami Herald quoted Flora Mitchell, a 61-year-old who had come to search for information about her sister, a resident there for 10 years.

Resident Barbara Bernstein, 83, said it's hard to walk in the dark to the restroom using a flashlight, but most of all, she wants air conditioning back.

“We need to know what happened to her, ” she said.

"There's nearly a feeling that we're starting to get some success here, but we have to remember we haven't opened the gates yet for the 90% of homeowners that live here", Monroe County emergency management director Marty Senterfitt told reporters.

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