September 26, 2008 / 12:49 PM / 11 years ago

Some 430,000 Texas customers still without power

NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - More than 430,000 CenterPoint Energy Inc (CNP.N) customers in Texas remained without power Friday, 13 days after Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast before cutting a destructive path all the way to New York.

That was down from 2.15 million CenterPoint homes and businesses out at the height of the storm. CenterPoint serves much of the Houston area.

On Sept. 24, CenterPoint forecast it would restore power to most customers in the Houston area by Sunday, Sept. 28.

The company said power should be available even in the hard-hit Galveston area, where the storm made landfall on Sept. 13, But substantial damage to the island’s homes and businesses would likely prevent many customers from actually receiving power.

CenterPoint estimated the total cost for the restoration would be in the range of $350 million to $500 million. The company said in a federal filing it would defer uninsured costs related to the storm and seek legislation in Texas to allow for the securitization of storm restoration costs.

In addition, the company said it expected the outages would hurt its earnings for the third quarter and full year, primarily due to reduced revenues. CenterPoint, however, said it could not determine the exact amount of that impact at this time.

CenterPoint said Ike knocked out service to about 99 percent of its Texas customers.

Ike hit the Galveston-Houston area as a Category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph. Overall, the storm cut power to more than 7.7 million homes and businesses in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia as it marched from Texas to the Northeast from Sept. 12 to 19.

CenterPoint, of Houston, transmits and distributes electricity to more than 2.1 million customers in Texas and natural gas to more than 3 million homes and businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich)

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