Florida Keys residents trickle back to warning of new crisis


The Category 5 hurricane hit the Florida Keys island chain last weekend after carving a destructive path through the eastern Caribbean, forcing the mandatory evacuation of nearly six million people and forcing the state into lockdown. The facility has been sealed off for a criminal investigation after 115 residents, sweltering for days, were evacuated.

The facility has been given a "below average" rating by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, due to numerous staffing, fire safety and health inspections violations in the past.

The Florida Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration addressed the timeline Friday, saying, "It is 100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients".

Without central air conditioning, residents were kept in hallways near the cooling units. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation encouraged people to evacuate before the storm if they could, but the group has shifted its focus to checking on them and bringing supplies to their homes, said CEO Jacob Solomon.

The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills is pushing back against charges it let patients die.

Further north, Broward County school officials said classes would resume Monday, but in Miami-Dade County, one of the nation's largest school districts, student still don't know when they'll return to class, forcing many parents to juggle childcare as they head into a second week of recovering from Hurricane Irma.

Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life. But she said when factors are constantly changing, it's impossible to have a plan that addresses every variable.

The tragedy, which sparked outrage across the country, has led state and local leaders to check up on other assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout Florida.

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Long said that Irma remains "a threat that is going to devastate" the United States, and cautioned states along the southeast coast to prepare for what's likely to come.

Fifty-seven residents were moved from a suburban Fort Lauderdale assisted-living facility without power to two nearby homes where power had been restored.

Jeffrey Nova learned of his mother's death from a journalist, after having tried in vain since Sunday to reach the home's nursing staff.

The summit will include "long-term care providers, utility companies, generator suppliers, emergency management personnel, regulators, government officials and other emergency planning partners", the release said. "If they find that this facility was not meeting the state's high standards of care, they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law". State emergency managers said the number of outages dropped to 1.9 million homes and businesses. "If you go back into the teens, you'll see storms that were as big or bigger".

Shaking her head, Johnson added, "What a awful price to pay".

"The scene on site when I got there was chaotic", said Randy Katz, Memorial's emergency services director.

"She says, 'Jean, I can't breathe". The home's staff also seemed to have fallen short in communicating with residents' families. "My sister got a phone call from her friend and said, 'If you don't need to, don't come home".