By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes that evacuated patients to a warehouse where conditions quickly deteriorated said the problems arose when Hurricane Ida took an unexpected turn. Coroners have linked five of the evacuated patients’ deaths to the storm. The state health department cited neglect and failure to report problems among reasons for revoking Bob Dean’s seven nursing home licenses. In his appeal, Dean says there was “no cruelty or indifference” to any resident’s welfare. He says the storm’s unexpected turn interrupted essential services such as portable toilet maintenance. Dean’s appeal letter doesn’t respond to allegations that he lied about a matter being investigated during what the department calls a campaign to derail its work.