Re­cov­ery ef­forts pick up mo­men­tum

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - WORLD NEWS - JEN­NIFER KAY and TIM REYNOLDS

MIAMI — Nearly a week af­ter hur­ri­cane Irma wal­loped Florida, the re­cov­ery mis­sion picked up mo­men­tum as more peo­ple had elec­tric­ity and schools made plans to re­open.

Still, the dan­gers lin­gered, mostly in the form of nox­ious gas from gen­er­a­tors serv­ing those who still don’t have power. In Palm Beach County, car­bon monox­ide from a gen­er­a­tor seeped into a home, killing a woman and leav­ing three men in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. Near Miami, a fam­ily of four was treated Fri­day for ex­po­sure to the fumes from a gen­er­a­tor out­side of their apart­ment.

At least 34 peo­ple have died in the U.S. un­der Irma-re­lated cir­cum­stances, the vast ma­jor­ity in Florida. The death toll across the Caribbean stood at 38.

Mean­while, the state made ur­gent ef­forts to pro­tect its vul­ner­a­ble el­derly res­i­dents. Eight peo­ple died at a nurs­ing home when the hur­ri­cane knocked out power and the fa­cil­ity lost air con­di­tion­ing. The deaths at the Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter in Hol­ly­wood Hills were be­lieved to be heat-re­lated.

Sev­eral other nurs­ing homes were evac­u­ated be­cause of a lack of power or air con­di­tion­ing, and work­ers scram­bled to keep pa­tients cool with emer­gency stocks of ice and pop­si­cles.

Of­fi­cials said about 1.9 mil­lion homes and busi­nesses were without power, in­clud­ing 64 nurs­ing homes.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott an­nounced Thurs­day night that he di­rected the Agency for Health Care Ad­min­is­tra­tion to ter­mi­nate the Hol­ly­wood Hills cen­tre as a provider for Med­i­caid, which helps low-in­come peo­ple re­ceive health care. Older peo­ple can be more sus­cep­ti­ble to heat be­cause their bod­ies do not ad­just to tem­per­a­tures as well as younger peo­ple. They don’t sweat as much and they are more likely to take med­i­ca­tion that af­fects body tem­per­a­ture.

“The thing that hits them first is de­hy­dra­tion and then their tem­per­a­ture in­creases and then res­pi­ra­tory is­sues kick in,” Broward County Com­mis­sioner Nan Rich said.

Schools in some ar­eas made plans to welcome back stu­dents. In the hard-hit south­west­ern part of the state, Lee County schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Greg Ad­kins an­nounced classes will be­gin Sept. 25. Three of the district’s build­ings needed ex­ten­sive roof re­pairs.

DAVID GOLD­MAN/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A house rests on the beach af­ter col­laps­ing off a cliff dur­ing hur­ri­cane Irma in Vi­lano Beach, Fla., on Fri­day.

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