Five Deaths, 100 Plus Evacuated From Nursing Home With No Power

A family walks through a street littered with fallen branches from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island Florida

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.

Five patients have died after their Florida care home lost power during Hurricane Irma, according to authorities.

Footage from the scene on Wednesday morning showed patients being rolled out of the nursing home on stretchers and taken to Memorial Regional Hospital. "I have nothing", said Mercedes Lopez, 50, whose family fled north from the Keys town of Marathon on Friday and rode out the storm at an Orlando hotel, only to learn their home was destroyed, along with the gasoline station where Lopez worked.

Time and again, natural disasters have claimed residents of nursing homes and other senior communities.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has a health inspection rating of "much below average" by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, which evaluates all long-term care facilities in the state for the US government.

Hospital administrators were told to dial 911 if they believed anyone was at risk, the governor's statement said. First responders evacuated 115 survivors at The Rehabilitation Center to nearby hospitals, including one across the street.

Police have started a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Irma's economic toll on Florida already includes almost $250 million in preparation and recovery expenses by 31 state agencies.

Police have sealed the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as part of their investigation. He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open in the nursing home.

The company said its customers on the state's east coast should expect most power to be restored by about September 17, while customers on the state's west coast should expect that by September 22. Sharief confirmed during a news conference that three residents died at the center and two died at the hospital. A nursing home spokesperson said that a number of its residents had been having respiratory issues.

"There's nothing we can do", he said.

Statewide, about 3.7 million customers - or more than 36 per cent - remained cut off from power, emergency officials said.

One of the issues facing the nursing homes was ensuring they have enough fuel on hand to power their generators on a continuous basis, she noted.

At least 25 people died when Irma pounded the Southeast earlier this week, including 12 people in Florida.

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