Entergy Corp. said its estimated damage costs from Hurricane Isaac range from $400 million to $500 million, and the storm is expected to reduce the company’s third-quarter revenue.
In a news release, Entergy said it will pursue all reasonable avenues to recover storm costs, including using its storm reserves, borrowing, additional charges for customers and insurance payments.
Entergy said it is unable to predict the degree of success it may have in these initiatives, the amount of restoration costs it may recover or when it may recover them.
However, the company said it believes utilities are entitled to recover prudently incurred storm costs in accordance with applicable regulatory and legal principles.
Each utility company is responsible for its restoration cost obligations and for recovering its storm-related costs.
Spokesman Michael Burns said it is too early to discuss the effect on individual customers.
The estimated losses by Entergy company are: Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, $70 million to $90 million; Entergy Louisiana, $240 million to $300 million; Entergy New Orleans, $50 million to $60 million; Entergy Mississippi, $30 million to $40 million; and Entergy Arkansas, $10 million.
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana has about 384,000 customers in 18 parishes between Baton Rouge and the Sabine River. Entergy Louisiana has 669,000 customers in 25 other parishes, including the Houma-Thibodaux metro area and Bossier Parish. Entergy New Orleans has 161,000 customers in New Orleans.
Entergy Gulf States has $87 million in funded storm reserves; Entergy Louisiana, $187 million; Entergy New Orleans, $16 million; and Entergy Mississippi, $32 million.
In the past, the Louisiana Public Service Commission has determined how much of hurricane recovery costs utilities can recover.
In 2008, Entergy had $229.5 million in storm reserves but total costs were $632.2 million. Typical Baton Rouge area customers saw their monthly bills rise about $2 to cover those costs and to replenish the storm funds.
Isaac left more than 787,000 Entergy customers without power.
Based on preliminary estimates, Entergy said the storm damaged or destroyed 4,500 poles and 2,000 transformers. Isaac also knocked 95 transmission lines out of service along with 144 substations.
The only storms with larger outages were Hurricane Katrina, when 1.1 million customers lost power; Hurricane Gustav, when 964,000 customers lost power; and Hurricane Rita, when 800,000 customers lost power.
Entergy shares closed Tuesday at $68.20, down 13 cents.