6 die at Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma knocks out AC

Six deaths at Florida nursing home without power since Irma

The issue burst to the forefront again Wednesday with news of eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Florida, where workers say Hurricane Irma caused the air conditioning to fail, and they struggled to keep residents cool with fans, cold towels and ice.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes, gives the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills a below-average rating, two stars on its five-star scale.

Three residents were found dead at the nursing home early this morning, and three more died at the hospital after more than a hundred were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez declined to share with reporters further details about the generator but noted "it was extremely hot on the second floor of the facility". The city's police department is reportedly "conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths" that occurred at the nursing home.

Police in Hollywood, Fla., confirmed in a tweet early Wednesday afternoon that they are investigating the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

CNN affiliate WPLG reported that the home's air-conditioning had been out since Hurricane Irma struck Sunday.

"Most of the patients have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration, & heat- related issues", doctors said during a news conference.

The centre had been without air conditioning, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told reporters on Wednesday.

Florida Health Care Association spokesperson Kristen Knapp said 168 nursing homes in the state lost power from the storm and were using backup generators to provide electricity to the facilities.

Hollywood, Florida before Hurricane Irma hit.

Carruthers, who lives in Key West, said her house built in 1889 lost shutters but sustained no other damage. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state. He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open.

As of Tuesday evening, 114 of Florida's nursing homes were relying on generators for power.

At least six people died apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning from generators in Florida.

"I just pour water on my head a few times a day", said Lydia Grondin, 29, of Fort Lauderdale. He declined to say whether the electricity was entirely out at the facility or if only the air conditioning was out, saying that was still under investigation. More than 300,000 customers in the county, or a third of the total, are still without power as of midday Wednesday.

Meteorologists expect Wednesday's temperature in Hollywood, Florida to reach 88° Fahrenheit with 74 percent humidity, WCVB-ABC reported.

The Miami Herald quoted Flora Mitchell, a 61-year-old who had come to search for information about her sister, a resident there for 10 years.

"We need to know what happened to her", she said.