An employee at Courtyard Gardens Assisted Living said power was restored around midnight Thursday.
Palm Beach County administrators provided a response after it came to light that Courtyard Gardens and other assisted living centers are not on the county's "critical list" for power restoration. FPL said it is the responsibility of cities and counties to do that.
Palm Beach County referenced the Agency for Health Care Administration. A spokeswoman for Palm Beach County said AHCA requires facilities to have an approved Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). The plan must include: risk assessment and planning, policies and procedures, communication plan and training and testing.
This form must be attached to the facility’s comprehensive emergency management plan upon submission for approval to the county emergency management agency, the AHCA reports.
This is a developing story and we will update it as soon as there is additional information.
Assisted living facilities in our area are still waiting for power to be restored following Hurricane Irma, leaving patients in dark, warm conditions.
Gov. Rick Scott has ordered first responders statewide to visit every elderly care facility to check on patients because so many of them are still without power.
The Courtyard Gardens Assisted Living facility in Jupiter is one of those locations.
Employees at the facility are doing their best to keep patients comfortable with fans, ice, water and one small isolated area that has air conditioning, according to an employee.
Family members of patients are wondering why the assisted living facilities were not a higher priority for power restoration, as their loved ones go into their fourth night without power.
Dorilee Kuhns says the heat is taking a toll on her elderly mother with Alzheimer's. “It’s hot in there,” she said. “We got a call this morning from hospice saying she was lethargic, and they’re moving some of the patients into an area to try to keep it a little cooler.”
She does not know when the power will be restored for her mother and the other 120 patients living at the facility.
“It should have been done, what, on Monday? At least?” Kuhns said.
A director at the center, Douglas Maurer, says the facility has been through 5 storms. “We usually got power back, the longest it’s ever taken was 30 hours,” Maurer said.
This time has been the longest.
“We are racing to get the lights back on,” said Florida Power and Light Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Robert Gould.
Gould explained FPL officials work with counties and cities to identify the critical locations needing power first.
“This should have been a priority. I mean, you have people in their 90s who have no clue what’s going on,” Kuhns said.
Patients and staff hoping this is their last night waiting for relief.
“It’s going to be a bit frustrating for some people and we know that,” Gould said.