Massive recovery efforts are underway for residents stranded in the Florida Keys. CBS News
17 September, 2017, 14:54
On Wednesday, four days after the storm made landfall, eight people died at a Hollywood, Florida nursing home after its air conditioning unit stopped working.
Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life.
"Kristin and I are saddened by this news and send our deepest sympathies to the victim's family and friends", Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release.
One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week before barreling into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour).
US President Donald Trump praised first responders in storm-ravaged Florida on Thursday for limiting the US death toll from devastating Hurricane Irma, the second major storm to hit the United States this year. There was no air conditioning. The deputy was overcome by fumes while approaching the home and called for fire rescue.
About 1.1 million utility customers still were without power Saturday morning statewide, officials said.
Some gasoline stations were reopening, but cell phone service and electricity remained out in most of the islands. Scott said the state has had multiple points of contact with the facility before the Wednesday's deaths.
Residents of the hard-hit Florida Keys returned to inspect damaged homes and businesses that were largely without electricity and communications in the wake of the deadly storm.
Tuesday, however, saw no change.
"As ANY health care provider knows to do, if their patients are in danger - they MUST call 911", Scott said in a written statement. Nursing home officials again complained they were in need of help from FPL. "Our staff continually checked on our residents' well-being-our most important concern-to ensure they were hydrated and as comfortable as possible". By 5 a.m., several patients at the nursing home were dead, and by 6 a.m. the rest were evacuated.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., was evacuated on September 13, 2017.
The Governor's Office also denies that at any time did the nursing home state their patients were at risk or experiencing health problems. Florida Senator Marco Rubio also attended the briefing.
"Right now the building has been sealed off and we're conducting a criminal investigation inside".
"The facility had some power".
"If they find out that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", Scott said in a statement.
When asked why the patients hadn't been taken across the street to Memorial Regional hospital when temperatures became risky, Hollywood city spokeswoman Rayelin Storey said, "We can't get inside the heads of the staff and the administrators of this facility". Several others were hospitalized in critical condition.
The building has been without power since Hurricane Irma struck. State officials closed the facility Wednesday night and barred it from admitting new patients. He said at no time did the facility communicate any imminent threats to its patients.
The hurricane reportedly killed more than 55 people in total.
Most people who die from high body temperature, known as hyperthermia, are over 50, according to the National Institutes of Health.
At the time of the deaths at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, almost 150 other nursing homes were without power.
Restoring power is still a top priority in Florida.