President Trump praises rapid response to Irma in Florida

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Naples Florida

Eight people in a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility, police said Wednesday.

Three people died at the facility in Hollywood, Fla., and two others were pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, Barbara Sharief, the Broward County mayor, said at a news briefing Wednesday morning.

John Tupps, Scott's communications director, alleged that, "Every call made to the governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned".

7News spoke with Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez, Thursday morning, who said they will be executing search warrants and interviewing people as they continue to investigate.

At least 34 storm-related deaths have been reported on the United States mainland, according to local officials.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities, and officials continued to assess damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the USA mainland this year.

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.

The deaths are now under a criminal investigation with the police refusing to rule anything out.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, residents faced widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness. The association added that it is working with state officials to identify homes without power so that utility companies could prioritize those in greatest need.

"I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place", Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.

Police said they have obtained a search warrant for the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a facility that had a history of citations and poor inspections.

The report says Apeler told investigators he was moving the pole because it was on the ground so close to traffic lanes.

Around 100 people were evacuated from the building since.

Sanchez said officers have been assigned to check 42 assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Hollywood to "make sure they are in sufficient care of the elderly". Staff also "continually checked on residents' well-being" to ensure they were "hydrated and as comfortable as possible", Carballo said.

The number of deaths blamed on Irma in Florida climbed to 13 with the carbon monoxide deaths, in addition to four in SC and two in Georgia. The order also said that residents were suffering "respiratory or cardiac distress" between 1:30 and 5 a.m. Wednesday, and does not mention the patient who died Tuesday and was brought to the funeral home. Florida Power & Light, reportedly claims, the center was not on the county's high priority power restoration list.

The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.

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