Irma death toll at 82 as 1.5 million without power in storm's wake

  • Friday 15, September 2017 in 7:55 PM
  •  A destroyed business in Florida because of Hurricane Irma
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: The death toll from Hurricane Irma was at 82 early on Friday as 1.5 million homes and businesses in Florida remained without power in sweltering heat, five days after the historic storm ripped through southeast U.S.

NextEra Energy Inc’s (NEE.N) FPL, Florida’s biggest electric company, said on Friday about 1.1 million customers had no power, while Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N) reported that more than 371,000 customers were in the dark and Tampa Electric, a unit of Emera Inc (EMA.TO), reported about 39,000 were without power.

Irma, which had ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record before striking the U.S. mainland as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, has been blamed for at least 82 deaths, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, accounting for more than half the fatalities.

The deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills stirred outrage at what many saw as a preventable tragedy, and heightened concerns about the vulnerability of the state’s large elderly population amid widespread, lingering power outages.