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Trump praises Florida for Irma effort

Trump praises Florida for Irma effort

Statewide, 64 nursing homes were still waiting Thursday for full power, according to the Florida Health Care Association.

Stepped-up safety checks were conducted around the state after eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders as they surveyed destruction from the punishing storm.

Elsewhere in South Florida, other alarms were sounded for older residents. And at the 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, where there were also widespread outages, rescue workers went door to door to check on residents and bring ice, water and meals.

Trump will visit Fort Myers in southwest Florida, an area hard hit by the storm, for a briefing on Hurricane Irma. The Florida Health Care Association said in a prepared statement that it is in contact with utilities and state, local and federal officials to try to get power restored to every nursing home as soon as possible.

The death toll from Irma stood at 81 on Thursday, including 38 in the United States, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands accounting for more than half of the fatalities.

The Rehabilitation Center said the hurricane knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning. Broward County said the home alerted officials Tuesday that it had lost power, but when asked if it had any medical needs or emergencies, it did not request help. They found three people dead and evacuated 145 people to hospitals, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said.

By the afternoon, five more had died.

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. A criminal investigation is underway by Hollywood police; officials with the facility said staff members are cooperating with it and other inquiries. The chief said authorities have not ruled anything out in the deaths, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators. He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open. Florida has about 680 nursing homes providing shelter to around 73, 000 residents and out of them, around 150 facilities are now devoid of full power supply.

Eight dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Richard Beltran, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, said Wednesday: "What we know now is that a portion of the facility did, in fact, have power, that there was a hospital across the parking lot from this facility and that the nursing home was required to have a permanently installed operational generator". She said Bobby Owens had been at the facility for more than 10 years.

"I've been there sometimes when it didn't", she said.

The facility's directors told inspectors that staff needed a refresher course on reporting maintenance and housekeeping issues. The medical examiner's office said the victims were five women and three men, ages 70 to 99.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered an emergency moratorium on Wednesday to prevent the facility from admitting new patients.

Mr. Sanchez told that the unfortunate deaths might have occurred due to the loss of power in the storm and their officers are also checking other 42 assisted living facilities and nursing home running throughout the city. County officials released documents showing that the Hollywood facility was in compliance with that regulation and that it held a hurricane drill with its staff in October.

Dozens of the state's senior centers still lacked electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and several facilities were forced to evacuate. 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.

The number of people in shelters across the state fell to less than 13,000.

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