Irma: Eight dead at Florida nursing home left without power

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The death toll left behind by Hurricane Irma continued to rise Wednesday, as six people died at a South Florida nursing home that apparently was without air conditioning amid ongoing power outages statewide, according to local officials.

The Florida Health Care Association, the industry group for the state's nursing homes, said it had notified the state about which facilities were without power "so utility companies can prioritize locations with the greatest need".

The governor said he has ordered a probe by state authorities.

The federal government's Medicare.gov website rates and provides basic information about nursing homes across the country.

Sanchez said that officials believe the situation at the nursing home "may be related to the loss of power" caused by Irma, but said they were not ruling anything out.

Nursing-home administrator Jorge Carballo said The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has had a "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane".

Of Florida's total 309 hospitals, all operational facilities have power or are running on generator power.

~150 of Florida's almost 700 nursing facilities do not have power restored, according to the Florida Health Care Association advocacy group.

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Further north in Daytona Beach, police said one person died and three others were being treated at a hospital Wednesday for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator.

Irma killed at least 31 people in Florida, plus seven more in Georgia and SC combined, authorities said. More than half the community of 15,000 residents lacked power.

Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said authorities are conducting a criminal investigation of the deaths. "Our hearts go out to the families", she said.

The Broward Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Wednesday that Bobby Owens, 84; Manuel Mario Medieta, 96; Miguel Antonio Franco, 92; Estella Hendricks, 71; Gail Nova, 71; Carolyn Eatherly, 78; Betty Hibbard, 84; and Albertina Vega, 99, had died, the Sun Sentinel reported. He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open.

Trump was traveling to Naples and Fort Myers on Florida's southwestern coast to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts. "I am also asking available first responders to immediately check in with the healthcare facilities in their area to make sure nursing homes and assisted living facilities are able to keep their residents safe", Scott added.

Firefighters and medics responding to an emergency call in Hollywood north of Miami found three people dead inside a building whose second floor the police chief later described as "extremely hot". County officials released documents showing the Hollywood facility was in compliance with that regulation and that it held a hurricane drill with its staff in October.

Around the state, hazards were popping up in the aftermath of the storm. More than 21,000 people remain in shelters across the state.

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