After Irene, $176 million electric bill for LI

September 16, 2011 2:15:35 PM PDT
The Long Island Power Authority estimates it will cost $176 million for the effort to restore power after Hurricane Irene.

Utility chief Michael Hervey revised the figure upward from his earlier $100 million estimate after getting a final report before a trustees meeting Friday morning.

The storm knocked out power to more than 523,000 LIPA customers, a record for the utility. Some customers were without power for more than a week.

LIPA's bill for repairing the damage includes transporting more than 3,500 out-of-town workers and putting them up in hotels.

LIPA expects 75 percent of the cost to be covered by federal disaster relief funds, but that will take months.

Hervey says officials will try to absorb the costs without imposing a rate increase on consumers.