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8 die at South Florida nursing home amid Irma destruction

17 September 2017

"This situation is unfathomable", he said.

Irma, which ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record before striking the US mainland as a Category 4 hurricane on September 10, killed at least 84 people.

In addition, at least five people died and more than a dozen were treated after breathing carbon monoxide fumes from generators in the Orlando, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.

"The scene on site when I got there was chaotic", said Randy Katz, Memorial's emergency services director.

State and local officials said the nursing home had contacted them, but did not request any help for medical needs or emergencies.

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"It's a sad event", Hollywood police chief Tomas Sanchez told a news conference. "We all have elderly people in facilities, and we all know we depend on those people in those facilities to care for a vulnerable elderly population".

He said the higher premiums could come from greater insurance losses and reinsurance companies determining there is a statistical increase in the risk that future storms will be more frequent and severe.

The nursing home deaths brought the total number of storm-related fatalities in Florida to 20 and illustrated the urgency of restoring electricity to millions of people across the southern state. The death toll across the Caribbean stood at 38.

Attorneys with Leighton Law filed the emergency petition in Broward Circuit Court on behalf of the family of Albertina Vega, one of the eight people who died after a portable air cooler malfunctioned at the nursing home, located at 1200 N. 35th Ave in Hollywood. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees recoiled and cut his carotid artery.

Stepped-up safety checks came after the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders even as they surveyed destruction from a storm that spread its punishing effects across the entire state.

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Altogether, more than 100 patients there were found to be suffering in the heat and were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs.

"At no time did the facility report that conditions had become unsafe or that the health and safety of their patients was at risk", the statement says.

Hurricane Irma's devastation continues to affect Floridians, now leaving eight people dead at a nursing home.

"The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills expresses its deepest sympathy to the family members of the residents who passed away following a prolonged outage of our air conditioning system due to Hurricane Irma", the nursing home said this week.

As for the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, there appears in the database to be a gap of almost two days between the times the facility updated its status with the state Health STAT system.

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A spokeswoman for the nursing home said the center "is cooperating with all regulators and authorities as it relates to the ongoing investigation", said Alia Faraj-Johnson.

After the investigation commenced, the Broward Medical Examiner's Office picked up the body from the funeral home so that an autopsy can be conducted. Moulder's mother was released from the hospital to a new nursing home. Utility officials warned it could take a week or more for all areas to be back up and running. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions.

Elsewhere around the state, a Coral Gables apartment building was evacuated after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants. That backup power must be able to keep temperatures in a safe range for nursing home residents and whatever provisions are stored there, according to more recent regulations that must be implemented by November 2017.

- 94 degrees (34 Celsius) is what the heat and humidity feel like in South Florida.

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8 die at South Florida nursing home amid Irma destruction