Hurricane Katrina damage costs now paid in full by Entergy MS - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hurricane Katrina damage costs now paid in full by Entergy MS

Rhonda Braden walks through the destruction in her childhood neighborhood, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2005 in Long Beach, Miss. Braden was there checking on her father's house that received major water damage from Hurricane Katrina. (Source: AP Photo/Rob Carr) Rhonda Braden walks through the destruction in her childhood neighborhood, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2005 in Long Beach, Miss. Braden was there checking on her father's house that received major water damage from Hurricane Katrina. (Source: AP Photo/Rob Carr)
JACKSON, MS (WMC) -

Entergy said the costs of repairs from damage by Hurricane Katrina has been finally paid off.

Over 300,000 Entergy Mississippi customers were left in the dark in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Restoration took 11 days, 4,200 employees and $89 million.

Click here for a look back at the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.

To counteract this large cost, Entergy added $.74 to each customer’s bill. That money has now been paid off and the charge will be removed.

“Much like Katrina itself, the extent of the damage, and the large price tag on the restoration that came with it, came as a shock to everyone,” Entergy Mississippi president and CEO Haley Fisackerly said. “Because restoration costs are considered a cost of providing electric service, they are paid for by customers. That’s why we sought a creative way to pay, so our customers would not see a spike in their bills.”

Entergy worked closely with Senator Thad Cochran to receive a large portion of the repair costs through a federal Community Development Block Grant. For the rest of the costs, they worked out the “Hurricane Katrina Electric Utility Customer Relief and Electric Utility System Restoration Act.” This would result in the $.74 hike on each customer’s bill in order to pay for the repairs over a longer period of time.

Entergy said 94 transmission lines were taken down during Hurricane Katrina, along with 98 substations, 2,000 poles, more than 4,000 cross arms stripped off poles. Plus, 300 miles of conductor, transformers, arrestors, switches, reclosers, regulators, and other equipment were destroyed.

At the time, more than 75 percent of Entergy’s 410,000 customers were in the dark.

“The hard work and dedication of all the people who helped in this unprecedented restoration effort will never be forgotten, and we are forever thankful,” Fisackerly said. “And we also are grateful for the state’s leadership for working so well with us on financing options that made restoration costs manageable for our customers.”

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