Irma: Eight dead in Florida nursing home after power outage

First lady Melania Trump speaks with a student as she visits a youth centre at Joint Andrews Airforce base Maryland

First lady Melania Trump speaks with a student as she visits a youth centre at Joint Andrews Airforce base Maryland

Throughout the storms, Trump has been eager to project a high level of federal competence and to avoid pitfalls made by some of his predecessors in the face of natural disasters.

Vice President Mike Pence, who joined Trump on the trip, promised Floridians: "We're with you today. These are special, special people".

Local officials are concerned, even if the president is not.

Trump says alongside Scott and other Florida officials that he knows "at a certain point it ends for you and we can't let it end". The governor, flanking him, in turn praised the White House and federal response. "Some of them looked compromised", said the hospital's Chief Nursing Officer Judy Frum.

By Tuesday night, 99-year-old Albertina Vega would succumb in the suffocating heat of the facility's second floor - the first of eight residents who died.

Trump's Thursday visit came the day after police in Hollywood, Florida, launched a criminal investigation into a nursing home where eight patients died after the facility lost power and continued to operate with little or no air conditioning in sweltering heat. On Thursday, the city's law enforcement was granted a search warrant in an ongoing investigation. For example, it said the facility's certified nursing assistants significantly exceeded state and national averages for the amounts of time they spent with each resident daily. "Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe - especially patients that are in poor health".

Nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo said in a statement that the facility was evacuated Wednesday "due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane". "People have died", said Horton.

As power outages persist in Florida, the Hollywood facility is not the only one that has been affected by the storm.

State emergency managers reported Friday that 1.92 million homes and businesses still don't have electricity. But both Trump and Scott pointed to progress in restoring the electrical grid.

In Lee County, which includes Cape Coral and Fort Myers, the Florida Emergency Management Agency said 66 percent of the area's 290,000 electrical customers were still without power Wednesday.

Keefe said about one-third of Broward County was still without power.

President Donald Trump is heading to Florida to survey the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Still, he raised some eyebrows by injecting politics into Thursday's visit, declaring in his arrival remarks that Scott, a Republican, should run for the Senate, challenging Democrat Bill Nelson.

The storm also cut off power, water and sewage to the islands, which are home to some 70,000 people.

As Florida struggled to revive its commercial and business life, school classes remained disrupted. "Someone let the ball drop very, very far", Kenneth Nova said by phone from his home in Winter Haven. In Naples, the Collier County Public School District remains closed and will not reopen until next week.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has a health inspection rating of "much below average" by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, which evaluates all long-term care facilities in the state for the US government.

Irma rampaged through the Caribbean, devastating several islands and raking the northern shore of Cuba last week.

At Least 8 Dead After Nursing Home Loses AC Following Irma
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