Entergy: Rita Damages Range from $400 Million to $550 Million

October 6, 2005

New Orleans-based utility operator Entergy Corp. said its damages from Hurricane Rita will range from $400 million to $550 million, a bill that comes on top of damages that could hit $1.1 billion from Hurricane Katrina a month earlier, according to the Associated Press.

The New Orleans-based company, temporarily headquartered in Clinton, Miss., said it believes it has enough liquidity to meet its obligations and fund rebuilding. Entergy said it would pursue insurance payments, federal relief and rate increases.

Entergy’s New Orleans unit filed for bankruptcy protection after Katrina, citing $325 million to $475 million in damages to power and natural gas transmission systems and the loss of most of its customer base. The company estimated the total damage to all of its operating units at $750 million to $1.1 billion.

Most of the Rita-related damage hit the Entergy Gulf States unit, which serves Southeast Texas and Southwestern Louisiana, the company said. Damage to that unit was estimated at $365 million to $500 million. Entergy Louisiana sustained $30 million to $40 million in damages, while the rest of the damage to Entergy properties ranged from $5 million to $10 million, the company said.

At the height of Rita, which hit Sept. 24, 82 percent of the Entergy transmission lines in Texas and 38 percent of its transmission lines in southwestern Louisiana were knocked out. By late Tuesday, Entergy said it had restored 206 of the 344 affected transmission lines and 308 of 436 substation outages. Five fossil-fueled generated units were off line for repairs, the company said.

Entergy said it had restored power to 586,000 of the 766,000 customers who lost power during Rita and expected to have service restored to about 95 percent of the customers within three weeks.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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