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17 September 2017, 12:55 | Myron Mathis
8 die at South Florida nursing home amid Irma destruction
It didn't dawn on him that something could be terribly wrong.
A Hollywood Police spokeswoman said the 152-bed nursing facility-the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills-has lacked electricity, but she didn't know whether the post-Hurricane Irma power outage played a role.
Ellie Pina - a daughter of one of the nursing home patients - told CNN she was anxious something like this would happen and that she spent "the whole day" on Tuesday calling the power company to alert it about the life-threatening situation.
Gov. Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure patients are safe. He added that "I don't know what he's going to do". "If they find that this facility was not meeting the state's high standards of care, they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law".
When Ellie Pina visited her mother after the storm, she said she felt the air conditioner was not working properly. "I just don't understand it", she said.
"She said, 'It's very hot in here, ' and the staff said, 'Yes, it is, '" Dean said.
"We went by to see her the day before she passed away", Johnson told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday.
Workers at the facility said Hurricane Irma caused the air conditioning to fail Sunday and they struggled to keep residents cool with fans, cold towels and ice.
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 wake, including tree-clearing accidents and lethal fumes from generators.
The police and fire departments were called to the nursing home around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Rivard said he's always amazed by homeowners - especially Canadians who purchased second residences when they were extremely cheap during the housing collapse - who decline to take out a policy because of the increased cost.
A warrant has been signed to begin searching the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which is affiliated with Larkin Community Hospital, and a criminal investigation is underway.
Four more died in hospitals after paramedics and emergency medical staff helped evacuate the sweltering facility.
"That's another question for the state agencies that regulate these nursing homes". The center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with them for status updates on when repairs would be made.
Even in the face of a storm that shrouded almost the entire state and had officials still piecing together its destruction, the news Wednesday from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills stood out, with victims as old as 99 among the dead and worries the count could grow.
The home said in a statement that the hurricane had knocked out a transformer that powered the AC. "We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong and to ensure our other residents are cared for". "Outreach was also made to local emergency officials and first responders". He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open in the nursing home. The nursing home has a poor history of inspection results and is affiliated with a South Miami hospital with a troubled past of its own. In both instances, the nursing home corrected these deficiencies.
After spending the past year visiting more than 100 nursing homes across the United States, I am sickened but not surprised to hear of the avoidable horrors people in facilities in Florida and Texas have suffered from hurricanes Harvey and Irma: most recently eight dead near Miami. The association has said it is working with the state to identify homes without power in greatest need so utility companies can prioritize them.
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