LIPA officials: Isaias restoration cost $350M, ratepayers could have to foot about $90M
A double whammy could be coming for Long Island residents who were left without power for days following Isaias, because they may now wind up paying for part of the cleanup.
LIPA CEO Thomas Falcone says power restoration involved about 6,000 personnel from as far away as Iowa, and in the end will cost over $350 million.
LIPA trustee Matthew Cordero says there's good news and bad news. He says as a public utility they are able to get FEMA to reimburse them for emergency costs -- but there is a limit to how much they get.
LIPA officials say they expect FEMA to pick up about $260 million in a process that will take about a year. So ratepayers would be on the hook for more than $90 million.
"You've got to come up with all the receipts and cost estimates and numbers associated with the crews you used - the equipment you bought and all that," says Cordero.
As for the overall response from PSEGLI to Isaias, Falcone said, "Long Islanders deserve better and they will get better."
Cordero says there is a chance a deal could be reached between the utility and the state or federal government to receive some special additional aid -- but added it's not something ratepayers should count on.