Death toll among nursing home residents evacuated to warehouse during Ida rises to 15

Death toll among nursing home residents evacuated to warehouse during Ida rises to 15
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The death toll among nursing home residents who were evacuated to a warehouse during Hurricane Ida has risen to 15.

State health officials said Thursday the number rose to 15, from 12 on Wednesday, after three residents died, Nola.com reported.

The officials said only five of the deaths have been labeled "storm-related" by the coroner's office, while adding that the number could grow.

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“As time passes and given the health conditions that required a nursing home level of care, unfortunately the number of deaths among this group is likely to increase,” Aly Neel, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Health said. 

“That is why it is important to make a distinction between the number of total deaths regardless of the cause and the number of storm-related deaths,” she said.

Before Hurricane Ida made landfall, 800 nursing home residents from seven facilities owned by Bob Dean were evacuated to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish.

The conditions in the warehouse deteriorated from flooding during the storm, with residents sleeping on soggy mattresses and some waiting days for diapers to be changed. 

At least 50 residents had to go to the hospital after the storm as state officials evacuated the warehouse and sent residents to different nursing homes. 

The state has since revoked the licenses for the nursing homes, which Dean said he is going to fight.