Five residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Florida died after the nursing home lost its air conditioning unit and power thanks to Hurricane Irma. The lack of power forced the building to be evacuated.
Initially, Hollywood Police Spokeswoman Miranda Grossman told Local10 that one person died. However, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief later said at a press conference that there were five deaths.
Here is what you need to know about the deaths. This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.
1. 2 People Died at the Nursing Home & 3 Others Died at Memorial Regional Hospital
Local10 reports that officials confirmed that five people died at the nursing home in a press conference. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said two died at the facility, while three others died after they were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
Paramedics were called to the nursing home at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The building has been without power for at least two days since Irma hit. An Airstron employee, Dave Long, was called to fix the air conditioning. He told Local10 that a fuse needed to cool the unit popped out and he was trying to get a hold of Florida Power & Electric to get it fixed.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Long told Local10. “We’ve been calling and calling. … It just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and I can’t do anything until we get that fuse popped back in.” He called the situation “frustrating.”
2. The Identity of the Victims Is Unknown
NBC Miami reports that the identity of the deceased is unknown.
Residents at the building were evacuated and taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
3. The Facility Provides Long-Term Care for Residents & A Short-Term Rehab Program
According to the rehabilitation center’s website, the facility provides both long-term care for residents and a short-term rehabilitation program. It is located at 1200 N 35 Avenue in Hollywood.
“Long term care at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills means taking the time to provide for all of a resident’s special needs. Top-quality medical care is combined with special programs and amenities to enhance quality of life and fill the spirit,” reads a statement on its site.
It also notes its close proximity to Memorial Regional Hospital in case of emergencies.
4. FPL Says It Could Take Weeks to Restore Power for Everyone In Florida After Irma
On Monday, Florida Power & Light said it could be “weeks” before power is fully restored in the state. ABC News reported that 6.5 million accounts were without power by Monday afternoon, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“What we think we’ll see on the west coast is a wholesale rebuild of our electric grid,” Robert Gould, FPL vice president and chief communications officer, told ABC News. “That will take weeks. This thing is a monster.”
5. Irma Caused 23 Deaths in the U.S. as of Wednesday Morning
WSBTV in Atlanta reports that the death toll from Hurricane Irma reached 23 on Wednesday morning. Sixteen people have died in Florida. Four deaths in South Carolina and three in Georgia have been tied to the storm.
According to ABC News, FEMA is reporting that 25 percent of all homes on the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65 percent of homes suffered major damage. At least 90 percent of all homes in the Florida Keys suffered some damage.