North Carolina man dies during aftermath of Hurricane Irma

President tours damage meets victims

President tours damage meets victims

At least 27 people died in Florida and nearby U.S. states, and destruction was widespread in the Keys, where Irma made initial USA landfall on Sunday and became the second major hurricane to strike the mainland this season.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the deadly incident was "unfathomable", and vowed to punish anyone found culpable in the deaths.

Including the nursing home deaths, at least 25 people in Florida have died under Irma-related circumstances, and six more in SC and Georgia, many of them well after the storm had passed.

A Hollywood Police spokeswoman said the 152-bed nursing facility-the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills-has lacked electricity, but she didn't know whether the post-Hurricane Irma power outage played a role.

Eight nursing home residents have died after the building in Florida lost power due to Hurricane Irma. The storm killed at least 33 in Florida.

Some residents of the Keys were met with scenes of devastation on Tuesday after police lifted roadblocks and began allowing people to return to the string of islands off Florida's southern coast.

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

"The damage in those areas is just beyond belief", Monroe County Mayor George Neugent told the Miami Herald.

A state inspection of the facility past year found a series of violations including multiple "medication errors", "overflowing trash in bins", and general "disrepair" leaving many wondering why the facility was still open. Residents were advised to boil water before drinking.

North Carolina man dies during aftermath of Hurricane Irma
North Carolina man dies during aftermath of Hurricane Irma

The ex-husband of 71-year-old victim Gail Nova said her devastated family believes the facility should lose its license. About 2.6 million utility customers still were without power in the state Thursday morning, officials said.

Stepped-up safety checks were conducted around the state after the eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders as they surveyed destruction from the punishing storm.

"We must understand their decision to keep patients in danger", Scott tweeted.

"Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities in Florida are required to have emergency operation plans", the Department of Health said in a news release.

The nursing home was aware on Sunday that its air conditioning "ceased to operate effectively" and placed portable air coolers and fans throughout the facility, according to the moratorium, which was signed by Justin Senior, secretary for the health-care administration.

Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life.

"This facility was responsible to provide their patients a safe environment and they failed to do so", Scott's office said in a statement.

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