Entergy Spends Up to $35 Million for Arkansas Storm Repairs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Entergy Arkansas says the cost of repairs from hurricanes Gustav and Ike will be between 24 million and 35 million dollars. That will be on top of 50 million dollars that Entergy already spent this year on repairing storm damage.

Severe weather that included a wind storm in January, tornadoes in February, snow in March and more tornadoes in April and May resulted in 210,000 combined outages to Arkansas customers. Winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike knocked out electric service to 179,000 Entergy Arkansas customers. And that was less than two weeks after a weakened Hurricane Gustav stalled over Arkansas, dropping a tremendous amount of rain and knocking out power to 95,000 state Entergy customers.

Entergy has 680,000 customers in Arkansas among 63 counties.

For its entire system, repairs following Gustav and Ike will cost Entergy up to 1.2 billion dollars. Entergy serves customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In Texas, 99 percent of Entergy users lost power during Ike, which came ashore at Galveston and then curved northeast to Arkansas.

In Arkansas, costs for Ike will be between 14 and 20 million dollars. For Gustav, costs will be between 10 million and 15 million dollars.

Entergy spokesman James Thompson says the utility has not yet decided how to recover those costs.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)