Florida recovery picks up momentum
MIAMI (AP) – 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 didn’t have power. North Carolina reported its first Irma-related death on Friday after a man died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and two more people died in Florida from the dangerous fumes, including a woman in Palm Beach County.
Near Miami, a family of four was treated for exposure to the fumes from a generator outside of their apartment.
At least 36 people have died in the US 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 at 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.