AC issue thought to be cause for death after storm left building without power
Eight people are dead after the Florida nursing home where they resided suffered a loss of power due to Hurricane Irma, according to media reports.
The causes of their death were not immediately clear, but the facility, Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, completed a precautionary evacuation of all its patients.
The patients, most of whom were being treated for respiratory distress and heat-related complications, are thought to have died due to problems with the lack of air-conditioning in the building.
The remaining patients were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues, officials said.
Police said a criminal investigation was underway.
Irma, which decimated the Caribbean as a top-tier Category 5 hurricane before losing strength after repeated landfalls in the continental U.S., was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday.
It left close to 13 million people in Florida without power and 180,000 without a home.
Irma caused at least two dozen deaths in the Caribbean before churning over Cuba and moving up to the continental U.S.
Ahead of its arrival, the hurricane triggered mass evacuations, with more than 6 million in Florida and neighboring states asked to flee.
The damage from Irma is estimated around $100 billion or 0.5 of a percentage point of U.S. GDP of $19 trillion.
Irma is currently tied as the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. Only Hurricane Allen, in 1980, was stronger, with peak winds of about 190 mph (305 kilometers per hour).