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Tropical Storm Isaias Could Cost Utilities $350 Million In Repairs

Mel Evans/Associated Press

The head of the Long Island Power Authority said the damage from Tropical Storm Isaias could cost more than $350 million in repairs.

FEMA has kicked in 1.5 billion dollars for storm restoration and utility upgrades on Long Island in the past decade. Now, LIPA CEO Tom Falcone told state lawmakers that $260 million for the Isaias bill racked up by power company PSEG Long Island could also come from the federal government.

“We review the cost of PSEG's storm response and where possible apply to FEMA for grants to reduce the cost of storms to our customers,” Falcone said.

State Assemblyman Fred Thiele of Sag Harbor said upgrades made after Superstorm Sandy were supposed to prevent the kind of widespread outages Isaias caused.

“Between federal money and ratepayers money, they paid for a system that was supposed to be fixed already, I don't think it's the ratepayers who should have to pay to fix this,” Thiele said.

Falcone said LIPA has hired third party auditors to investigate PSEG Long Island’s failed storm response. The utilities are also under investigation by state regulators.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.