At least eight people died in a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, that was left without air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out the power.
Three people died at the facility in Hollywood, Florida, and three others were pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, the city of Hollywood said Wednesday afternoon.
More than 100 residents were evacuated from the facility, Broward County Deputy Fire Rescue Chief Tim Keefe said at a news conference earlier Wednesday. More than 150 people were evacuated, many suffering from respiratory issues, dehydration and heat-related problems, according to Memorial Regional Hospital spokesman Randy Katz.
Information on the state Agency for Health Care Administration's website said the nursing home's current license was effective July 17 and expires July 16, 2019. In Hollywood, where the nursing home is located, temperatures are expected to reach the 90s this week.
"We often see that injuries and deaths after disaster in the United States are more common than those actually caused by the disaster itself", Kirsch said.
The nursing home had been without air conditioning for days.
Even in the face of a storm that shrouded almost the entire state and had officials still piecing together its destruction, the news Wednesday from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills stood out, with victims as old as 99 among the dead and worries the count could grow.
The California Department of Public Health, which regulates all long term care facilities, requires nursing homes have an alternate source of power for their medical equipment and oxygen supply.
Millions of people across Florida have lost power since Irma began lashing the state, and utilities have warned that some of the outages could extend for days or even weeks.
"Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable", he said.
Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths were heat-related, and added: "The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation".
More than 90 special needs shelters were opened to help patients in need.
"Our son was very uncomfortable - he couldn't sleep, he was sweating, and he was out of his routine", said Guillen, sitting in the lobby of the hotel with her family.
President Donald Trump plans to visit Naples, Fla., on Thursday to meet with first responders and residents affected by the storm.
Nursing homes seek the best ways to keep their residents cool, looking at things like breathing issues, she said.
Anthony Gallagher of Georgia said staff at the Preserve of Palm Aire assisted living facility in Pompano Beach called Tuesday night to say his 94-year-old father-in-law, who had dementia, was hot and confused and needed another place to stay.
Four people in two different incidents in Florida died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by electric generators. Authorities had feared a much slower detour route might be necessary if the Santa Fe River flooded the interstate near Gainesville.