"Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable", he said.
Ellie Pina - a daughter of one of the nursing home patients - told CNN she was anxious something like this would happen and that she spent "the whole day" on Tuesday calling the power company to alert it about the life-threatening situation. State investigators from the Florida Office of the Attorney General are also on scene.
Efforts to prevent such disasters in nursing facilities have improved in recent years, public health experts said, and that new federal regulations require facilities to have sufficient backup power to maintain reasonable temperatures.
A total of 115 patients were evacuated from the nursing home, which lost power in the storm and had no air conditioning. That patient was transported to a hospital, police said. These are special, special people and we love 'em.
Irma, which made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys as a Category Four hurricane, had triggered orders for more than six million people to flee to safety, one of the biggest evacuations in USA history.
The death toll in both hurricanes, though, is indeed far below what other major storms have inflicted on America. That tally also included two people in Georgia killed when trees fell on them and a man in Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando, apparently electrocuted by a downed power line in a roadway.
He said most of the patients admitted to the hospital have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.
Florida's healthcare agency ordered the nursing home on Thursday to be suspended from the state Medicaid program.
Representatives of the for-profit nursing home, which had received a "below average" grade from Medicare's rating system for such facilities, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Back in Naples, Sieber and her husband and 9-year-old son have been using a generator to run a small air conditioner in a bedroom at night. USA Today reported the state found 11 health deficiencies during it's annual inspection earlier in 2017, and 17 in 2016.
"They're more susceptible to the heat", said Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich.
Residents of the hard-hit Florida Keys returned to inspect damaged homes and businesses that were largely without electricity and communications in the wake of the deadly storm. As of 2016, Florida had about 680 nursing homes.
Meanwhile, roughly 6.4 million people in the state remained without power as of Wednesday afternoon, down from 13 million. They called the power company. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions.
Elsewhere around the state, a Coral Gables apartment building was evacuated after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants. Rescue crews went door to door in the 94-degree heat to check on people and hand out water, ice and meals.
A deputy at the checkpoint said they were trying to keep people safe. "That's why we are camped out there and doing whatever we can to assist them in this process".
Senator Bill Nelson attended a news conference and said that what happened was inexcusable.
"We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep our seniors safe during this hard time", he said.
A damaged house after Hurricane Irma swept through the Florida Keys.
The Keys felt Irma's full fury when the hurricane roared in on Sunday with 130 miles per hour (209 kph) winds.
Kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the Miami Herald a generator allowed staff to cook but did not provide the facility with air conditioning.
Trump plans to visit Florida on Thursday.
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