September 13, 2017 14:36 GMT by theguardian.com

Five dead in Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Five dead in Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Broward County mayor says no details yet on cause of deaths at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

Five people died in a Florida nursing home that lost power following Hurricane Irma, Broward County mayor Barbara Sharief said on Wednesday.

Police and fire crews began evacuating the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Wednesday morning. Sharief confirmed during a news conference that three residents died at the center and two died at the hospital.

Sharief said there are no details about the cause of the deaths. No further details were immediately available.

Separately, one person died and three others are being treated at a hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator in Daytona Beach, Florida, the latest such death as people across the state wait for power to be restored after the hurricane.

Daytona Beach fire department officials said on Twitter that a generator was running inside the home early Wednesday. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Officials across Florida are warning people to keep generators outside their homes.

In nearby Orange County, deputies found three people dead and four others were taken to a hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday afternoon. Carbon monoxide from a generator is also suspected in the death of a man in Miami. And authorities say another dozen people were treated for carbon monoxide on Tuesday in Polk and Brevard counties.

Meanwhile, one of the main highways that connects Florida to the rest of the country is in danger of being closed because of flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.

The Santa Fe river in north central Florida that runs under I-75 has rapidly risen within the past two days, according to Florida transportation officials. Officials say the water will likely rise further in the coming days.

The bridge that crosses the river is just north of Gainesville, the home to the University of Florida. If the highway is closed it would require major detours for those trying to return to the state after evacuating due to Irma.

Tennessee is scheduled to play UF this weekend in Gainesville, meaning it could cause problems for those trying to attend the game.

In Sandy Springs, Georgia, a man was killed when a tree toppled on his house. And 67-year-old Nancy Eason died after a tree fell on a vehicle in which she was riding in Forsyth County.

About 600,000 Georgia Power and Electric Member Corp customers were still without power early on Wednesday. Georgia governor Nathan Deal has lifted an evacuation order Tuesday for nearly 540,000 coastal residents.

In South Carolina, where Irma brought rain, wind and flooding, utilities reported more than 63,000 customers were without service on Wednesday morning.

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster on Tuesday lifted an evacuation order that had been in effect on the barrier islands in the southern part of the state.

The national park service said Irma’s rains and storm surge left 3ft of water inside Fort Sumter, the site of the first battle of the civil war.

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