The Next Big One: Bury the Lines?

News 12's Drew Scott asks homeowners and LIPA. (1/31/13)

EAST MEADOW - Many are wondering whether Long Island could keep the power on during the next big storm by burying electric wires underground.

An independent study commissioned by LIPA in 2005 found that burying wires on Long Island could cost $25 to $30 billion. The study says it would raise electricity rates by 150 percent over 25 years.

Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine says burying power lines is worth the steep price given the huge cost of just one storm like Sandy.

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LIPA executives say burying all the wires is a bad idea and not just because of the cost. LIPA Vice President Nick Lizanich says restoration time takes longer when the wires are underground.

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