In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, more than 40% of Florida was without electricity as of Wednesday (September 14), The Washington Post reports. Some may not see its return for weeks.
“We understand what it means to be in the dark,” Robert Gould, vice president and chief communications officer for Florida Power and Light (FPL), said. “We understand what it means to be hot and without air conditioning. We will be restoring power day and night. This is going to be a very uncomfortable time.”
“Uncomfortable” may be an understatement. Families are unable to use the internet, contact others, or even preserve their food.
“It’s a mess, a real mess. The biggest issue is power,” Naples mayor Bill Barnett said. “We just need power. It’s 92 degrees and the sun is out and it’s smoking out there.”
According to CNN, at least five nursing home residents died in Hollywood, Fla. While the causes of death are still being investigated, Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez says that loss of air conditioning is the likely culprit. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills confirmed in a statement to press that it was dealing with a “prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility’s air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane.”
In total, 115 people have since been evacuated from the home. Another 42 nursing homes are being checked by police as precaution, and another 18 people at a nearby health facility have also been evacuated.
Families of nursing home residents can each their loved ones via a hotline set up by the hospital: 954-265-1074.