Irene Cost LIPA $175M, Rate Hike Possible

Irene knocked out power to more than 523,000 LIPA customers, a record for the utility

By Greg Cergol
|  Friday, Sep 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:30 AM EDT
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How Much Irene Damage Will Your Insurance Cover?

A LIPA crew member works to restore power after Irene knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers.

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Power Outages Frustrate Long Island Families

Tropical storm Irene has left many families without electricity. LIPA says it is hoping to restore power by Friday.

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Many are still experiencing power outages after the storm. LIPA says it could take until next week to restore power.
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The Long Island Power Authority said Friday that Irene was the most expensive storm in the utility's history, costing $176 million to restore power and clean up the damage left in its wake.

The disaster cost could mean a rate hike for customers.

LIPA Chairman Howard Steinberg said he has "no appetite" for a hike, and promises to look for spending cuts to offset the cost of the storm.

FEMA is expected to reimburse 75 percent of the cost, but LIPA will be on the hook to cover the rest, about $44 million.

Irene knocked out power to more than 523,000 LIPA customers, a record for the utility.

LIPA's costs include transporting and paying for more than 3,500 extra workers from out of town, and putting them in hotels.

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