Louisiana utility says Hurricane Laura repair costs at $1.4B

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Chris Johnson views destruction at his home in Lake Charles, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the state. Johnson stayed in his home as the storm passed. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana utility says the cost to restore electricity and repair power lines damaged in the state during Hurricane Laura is now up to $1.4 billion.

Entergy Corp., the New Orleans-based utility serving many of the areas affected by the Aug. 27 storm, said Tuesday that power has been restored to almost all of their customers who were left without electricity when storm surge and winds of up to 150 mph (241 kph) downed more than 14,000 lines and ravaged homes and businesses across the state’s southwestern coast.

Remaining work in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, and into Lake Charles, was expected to be completed by Sept. 30, according to a news release from the company.

Total restoration costs, including those incurred by Entergy in Texas, were estimated at $1.7 billion, according to the company.

It was not immediately clear how much of the repair costs would be covered by the federal government and how much would be picked up by Entergy and its ratepayers, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. Louisiana’s legislature was set to address relief efforts during a special session beginning next week.

Repair costs from Laura also included precautionary measures to protect against the coronavirus, such as accommodations for disaster response workers who had to be housed in hotels near the damage sites, officials said.

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