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Officials in Hollywood, Florida, said eight elderly people living at a nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, leaving them with no air conditioning.
At least 115 people have been evacuated from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, with some in respiratory distress. The center, which sits across the street from a hospital with full air conditioning, has a backup generator, but that doesn’t power the air conditioner, a faculty administrator said, and the residents were left in stifling heat. Broward County said the facility on Tuesday said it had lost power, but did not ask for help. The deceased residents have been identified as Bobby Owens, 84; Manuel Mario Medieta, 96; Miguel Antonio Franco, 92; Estella Hendricks, 71; Gail Nova, 71; Carolyn Eatherly, 78; Betty Hibbard, 84; and Albertina Vega, 99.
Officials in Florida are now visiting other assisted living facilities to look for anyone who might need help, and Gov. Rick Scott (R) said several investigations into the incident are underway. The Sun Sentinel reports the facility has two out of five stars in Medicare’s ranking system, and one star for health inspections. It’s not yet known how long the elderly residents were without air conditioning. Catherine Garcia