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Stories Stories Environment Irma: Five dead at Florida nursing home left without power

Irma: Five dead at Florida nursing home left without power

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Written by jonathan     September 13, 2017    
 
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Five people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died.

Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three were found dead at the nursing home in the city of Hollywood. Two others died upon reaching hospital.

Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma.

The storm - which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the US - struck southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on Monday.

Irma earlier left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed.

Respiratory distress

Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills facility has been sealed off and police are conducting a criminal investigation.

"It may be related to a loss of power in the storm," he said, adding that officers were checking in on 42 other assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the city.

Hollywood Fire Rescue saw "a number of people in respiratory distress" when they arrived at the Hollywood Hills facility on Wednesday morning, another official said.

Some residents there awoke sick, the Miami Herald reported.

Kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the newspaper a generator allowed staff to cook but did not provide the facility with air conditioning.

Temperatures on Tuesday in Hollywood reached 32C (90F), according to the National Weather Service.

The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.

More than half of a large retirement community in Pembroke Pines, Florida, still had no electricity by Wednesday morning, leaving elderly residents stuck in rooms with no access to lifts.

Pembroke Pines police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell told the Miami Herald that officers were at the scene.

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

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