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Dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities along Florida’s East Coast were being evacuated Monday, mostly over concerns about storm surge and high winds from Hurricane Dorian, officials said.
But a few of the nursing homes were clearing out for another reason: they still do not have a permanent back-up generator for their air conditioning systems.
After 12 people died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills during Hurricane Irma in 2017, the state mandated the generators, but 60 percent of nursing homes still have not completed their projects.
In Broward, three in four homes, and in Miami-Dade about half of the homes, do not have generators with enough fuel to last four days.
Sen. Rick Scott, who was governor during Irma, ordered the generators be in place by January 2018. Scott was asked how he felt about most homes still not getting the job done.
“It makes you mad. These individuals are responsible for people that can’t take care of themselves. And so they should have the backup power, but don’t do what Hollywood Hills did, I mean, we had all the nursing homes, everybody did the right thing and evacuated but one place,” Scott said Monday. “Take responsibility.”
Four employees of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were charged last week with aggravated manslaughter for what police say was a failure to protect residents from extreme heat after Irma.