Just days after rolling up their sleeves and re-opening clinics in storm-soaked South Texas, dialysis providers held on tight this past weekend to see how Hurricane Irma would ravage south Florida. Irma tore through the Caribbean as a category 5 hurricane and brushed up against Puerto Rico before making landfall at the tip of the Florida Keys as a category 4 hurricane.

Read also: Harvey pushes dialysis staff to the edge

The high-power winds and rain then went up through Naples, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale area, and Miami, where streets were flooded and power was cut. By Sunday, Sept. 10, 80% of Miami-Dade County had no electricity, and communications weren’t restored until three days later. In the Florida Keys, report indicate that 1 of every 4 homes were destroyed from the hurricane, and emergency officials say at least 56 deaths in Florida and other states are linked to Irma.

Central Floridians who lost power when Hurricane Irma slammed into the region may be without electricity for days or even weeks, including more than 850,000 in Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola and Brevard counties, according to the state’s Division of Emergency Management.

“This will probably be the largest utility restoration and rebuild project in the history of the United States,” said Roseann Harrington, vice president of marketing at Orlando Utilities Commission, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “So we ask for everybody’s patience.”

After leaving Florida, the storm was reduced to a tropical depression, but still landed hard in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. Some 680,000 customers were without power throughout Georgia at press time.

Meteorologists are warning that two other Category 4 hurricanes, Katia and Jose, may be soon to follow. Katia has already touched down in Mexico.

We asked dialysis providers who own and manage the majority of the clinics in Florida and other southern states impacted by Hurricane Irma to assess the status of their facilities as of Sept. 12. Most providers said the lack of power, rather than damage from flooding, was keeping clinics from re-opening.

 

 

 

 

The American Kidney Fund has set a goal of collecting $250,000 in disaster relief funds to help patients caught in the flooding from Hurricane Harvey and Irma. At press time, they had raised $203,400 and had already processed over $100,000 in grants. To contribute, go to http://tinyurl.com/yayo24eo

Resources

KCER Helpline: 866.901.3773; Email: kcerinfo@hsag.com

Dialysis patient hotline numbers

  • Davita Kidney Care: 800.400.8331
  • Fresenius Medical Care N.A.: 800.626.1297
  • Dialysis Clinic Inc.: 866.424.1990
  • American Renal Associates: 888.880.6867
  • US Renal Care: 866.671.8772