MIAMI (AP) – The Latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):
A woman has died and three men are in critical condition in a suspected case of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by faulty generator use in Florida’s Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Albert Borroto said crews responded an unknown medical call Thursday night in Loxahatchee. He says that as firefighters approached the home, their carbon monoxide detectors went off, which warned them of potential danger as they went inside.
Firefighters put on air tanks and found the woman dead inside the home with three critically ill men.
It’s not clear who called 911.
Borroto says the generator wasn’t running when they arrived, but investigators believe it had been running all day. The generator is a large 15,000-watt model that’s capable of powering an air conditioner. It was outside, near the garage, which was left open a few inches. He said that allowed the carbon monoxide to seep inside.
Georgia’s agricultural leaders say Irma’s path through the state has left pecan and cotton crops vulnerable, but could signal a boon for another signature state crop.
State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told WABE-FM that 50 percent of Georgia’s pecan crop might be lost, which will have negative ramifications for an already struggling rural economy.
Black says U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor, will tour the state Friday to assess the damage.
The station reports that crop consultants estimate between 25 percent and 50 percent of the cotton yield is gone, as cotton is susceptible to high winds as it nears harvest.
Georgia Agribusiness Council President Brian Tolar expressed concern over the state’s timber industry, as well.
However, Black says the storm’s rain could boost Georgia’s peanut crop.
Florida’s post-Irma recovery includes urgent efforts to protect its vulnerable elderly residents after a string of nursing home deaths.
Several nursing homes have been evacuated because of a lack of power or air conditioning, while utility workers raced help to dozens of others still lacking electricity as of Thursday. Homebound seniors found help from charities, churches and authorities.
Meanwhile, detectives were combing through the Hollywood facility where eight elderly residents died amid sweltering heat.
Statewide, 64 nursing homes were still waiting for full power Thursday, according to the Florida Health Care Association. The separate Florida Assisted Living Association said many of its South Florida members lacked electricity. The group was working on a precise count.
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