Hurricane Irma: Keys residents line up at checkpoint

Saul Bowman
September 16, 2017

As additional patients were found in distress, police and doctors from Memorial Hospital finally made a decision to evacuate the entire nursing home at about 6am, according to accounts from Katz and Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez.

The facility's air conditioning system stopped working after a transformer had "prolonged power failure", an administrator for the nursing home told NBC 6. As a precaution, police also evacuated another 18 patients who were in an adjacent health facility, and are checking on the other 42 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Hollywood area.

Elderly residents were evacuated Wednesday morning from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills which lost power during the storm.

Fire and rescue teams were first called to the facility at about 3am for a patient reported in cardiac arrest, and firefighters returned an hour later for a resident with breathing difficulties, the city said. He is also the president of Larkin Community Hospital, across from the nursing home and that apparently never lost power.

Hundreds of thousands of people facing power outage since the Hurricane Irma stumbles the state.

And to think: We nearly escaped Hurricane Irma's ire without a senseless loss of life.

Friday afternoon, the state's Agency for Health Care Administration said conditions at the facility present a threat to the safety of residents and it suspended the nursing home indefinitely from taking patients paid for by Florida Medicaid.

Six people died in a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home that had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power.

Jeffrey Nova said he learned of his mother's death Wednesday morning from a reporter who got his name and contact info from a nursing home employee.

She said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and "we are concerned about their welfare".

Moulder wasn't the only person with family at the facility who found out about the tragedy while watching the news. "Florida is a retirement haven for hundreds of thousands of people that come here specifically for that and we need to make sure they're going to safe", he said.

"Facility administration has been in communication with Florida Power & Light and the Governor's office since the beginning of Hurricane Irma, and is cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome".

"A number of people were in respiratory and other distresses", said Sanchez. Police used city trolleys to transport residents of Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to another facility, a spokesman said.

Numerous seniors were rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital after more than 150 of them were evacuated.

Police said 115 seniors were evacuated from facility at 1200 N.E. 35 Ave.

Kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the newspaper a generator allowed staff to cook but did not provide the facility with air conditioning. More than 21,000 people remain in shelters across the state. "We took part in emergency management preparedness calls with local and state emergency officials, other nursing homes and health regulators", he said.

Exactly how the deaths happened was under investigation, with Sanchez saying authorities have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators. In addition, the nursing home is situated in the same location as well.

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