“It was a situation where we knew we had to get those patients evacuated”, From told Vigliotti.
For days, evacuees from the Lower and Middle Keys were turned away from a checkpoint state authorities set up near mile marker 74 on the Overseas Highway.
President Donald Trump doled out hoagies and handshakes in the sweltering Florida heat on Thursday as he took a firsthand tour of Irma’s devastation and liberally dispensed congratulatory words about the federal and state recovery effort.
The company said it is taking longer than anticipated because it has to rebuild the electric power system.
The Florida Keys were particularly hard hit, with federal officials saying that 25 percent of homes were destroyed and 65 percent suffered major damage.
Farther down the island chain, utilities and communications remain spotty or nonexistent. But two new cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from temporary generators made clear that dangers remained almost a week after the powerful storm hit. It then plowed north up the Gulf Coast of the state before dissipating.
Paulburn Bogle, a member of the housekeeping staff, said employees fought the lack of air conditioning with fans, cold towels, ice and cold drinks for patients.
On the tarmac of the Fort Myers airport, he encouraged the state’s governor, Republican Rick Scott, to challenge Florida’s Democratic senator when his term expires. Officials said it would be some time before many people are allowed back in to see what is left of their properties. “You’re not going to convince a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor to do something that she doesn’t want to do”. After the storm passed, a deputy took her back home and another brought her food.
The tail end of the archipelago, from Key West eastward to Big Coppitt Key, appears to have fared better than the Middle Keys.
Mr Trump has promised to return to Florida “numerous times” as thousands of people begin the painstaking task of rebuilding their homes – adding that Irma’s destruction was on a scale “nobody has seen before”.
Other elements of his first trip to Texas struck an awkward tone: the first lady’s stiletto heels, worn while boarding Marine One at the White House, drew widespread backlash on social media, and Trump’s comments to a gathering of supporters – “what a great turnout!” – were more valedictory than comforting.
Eight deaths have been confirmed, including the person who apparently had died before firefighters were first called to the nursing home.
The deaths came as people trying to put their lives back together in hurricane-stricken Florida and beyond confronted a multitude of new hazards in the storm’s aftermath, including tree-clearing accidents and lethal generator fumes. They include 27 in Florida, four in SC and three in Georgia.
Hurricane Irma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin and kept its speed as a Category 5 hurricane for three days as it wreaked havoc across the Caribbean before being downgraded as it made landfall in Florida.
Police have said the deaths are under investigation.
Investigators looking into the deaths of eight residents at a South Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning amid ongoing power outages following Hurricane Irma said that at least one of them died Tuesday, several hours before authorities say they were alerted to a crisis at the facility early Wednesday.