Irma: Five dead at Florida nursing home left without power

Health care workers walk down streets filled with emergency equipment near Memorial Regional Hospital

Health care workers walk down streets filled with emergency equipment near Memorial Regional Hospital

At another assisted-living facility near Miami, the manager said the building lost power Tuesday morning, well after the hurricane had passed.

"We believe at this time it might be related to the loss of power in the storm", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said but added that they weren't ruling anything out and had sealed off the nursing home while police conduct a criminal investigation.

Among the state's almost 700 nursing facilities, about 150 lacked power as of Wednesday morning, said the Florida Health Care Association, which represents most of the homes.

A statement from the nursing home, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, confirmed that it had a "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane".

"The National Weather Service's tracking in Hollywood put the temperature at 80 to 82 degrees overnight with a heat index of 85 to 90 after a Tuesday afternoon high temperature of 90 and a peak heat index of 99".

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"This situation is unfathomable", he said. "If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", the governor said.

"FPL has got to have a better plan for power", he said, referring to the state's largest utility, Florida Power & Light. "Can't give you anything more specific than that at this point".

An official from Memorial said that the healthcare network was helping with evacuating people from the rehabilitation centre, which is not part of the Memorial system, and will take some to their other hospitals in the region.

Emergency services were called after some residents awoke sick.

The nursing home has faced several safety violations and citations in recent years, including two for not following generator regulations in 2014 and 2016, according to CNN.

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In the wake of the tragedy, scrutiny has also settled on the nursing home's owner, Dr. Jack Michel.

"There are a number of critical patients", said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story. The cause of their deaths has yet to be determined.But most of the survivors were treated for "respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues", Memorial Regional Hospital's emergency medical director, Randy Katz, told reporters.

They found three people dead and evacuated 145 people to hospitals, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said.

More than 100 residents at the nursing home were transferred to neighboring branches of Memorial Regional Hospital, along with patients from a nearby facility that also was evacuated due to the police investigation, Hollywood city officials said.

Relatives of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patients are asked to not go to the hospital to check on their loved ones, instead they should call (954) 265-1074 to check on them.

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