Six Die in Florida Nursing Home That Lost Power Due to Hurricane Irma

(CN) – Six people have died at a South Florida nursing home that lost power due to Hurricane Irma.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three of the deaths took place at the nursing home, while two others occurred as the residents were being transported to a hospital. The sixth died while being treated at the hospital.

Sharief said 120 residents of the Hollywood, Fla., facility have been evacuated due to intense heat.

Hollywood police chief Tom Sanchez said during a news conference that officers and fire crews responded Wednesday morning to a call from the facility about some patients in need of critical care.

The 152-bed Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills provides short-term rehabilitative services and long-term care, according to its website.

The tragedy came as Floridians continue to try to recover from Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the state on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, and went on to batter much of the southeastern U.S. Monday and Tuesday.

WSVN, a Miami television station, reports that there was a generator at the nursing home, but it is unclear if it was working.

An estimated 3.8 million homes and businesses in the state have been left without power in the wake of the storm.

Florida Power & Light Co. restored power to 2.3 million customers as of Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, one of the main highways that connects Florida to the rest of the country is in danger of being closed due to flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.

The Santa Fe River in north central Florida that runs under Interstate 75 has rapidly risen within the past two days, according to Florida transportation officials.

Officials say the water will likely rise further in the coming days.

The bridge that crosses the river is just north of Gainesville, the home to the University of Florida. If the highway is closed it would require major detours for those trying to return to the state after evacuating due to Irma.

Further up the coast, the cleanup effort continues in South Carolina, where the state’s utilities report that more than 63,000 customers continued to be without service Wednesday morning.

Duke Energy had the largest number of outages with nearly 37,000 customers without service. The biggest problems were in Greenville, Anderson and Pickens counties in the Update region.

The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina reported nearly 15,000 customers without power, most of them in Oconee and Charleston counties.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. had nearly 12,000 customers without service. Beaufort and Charleston counties had the most customers without electricity.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday lifted the state’s last evacuation order, which had been in effect on the barrier islands in the southern part of the state.

All state offices were resuming normal operating hours Wednesday.

That is not the case for Fort Sumter at the mouth of Charleston Harbor.

The National Park Service said Irma’s rains and storm surge left 3 feet inside the landmark, which was the site of the first battle of the Civil War.

The fort’s docking pier and some interior facilities were also damaged by the storm, though National Park Service officials said no artifacts were damaged.

Dawn Davis with the Fort Sumter National Monument said it will be several days before the fort reopens to the public.

%d bloggers like this: