BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — Customers of Puget Sound Energy who are without power for five full days are entitled to a $50 credit on their bill.

Those people should contact customer service, said spokeswoman Gretchen Aliabadi. It’s likely to add to the expense of the outage that already is costing the utility tens of millions of dollars, she said.

As of Monday morning, 53,000 homes and businesses remained without power from last week’s snow and ice storms in Western Washington. Most of the remaining outages are in King, Pierce and Thurston counties.

The utility said it has restored power to more than 360,000 customers. The major repairs have mostly been made and now it’s down to restoring a few customers at a time, Aliabadi said.

The utility has 280 line crews and a total of about 2,000 people working on repairs. It could take until the middle of the week to get everyone back on line, she said.

“I think we’ll make some good progress today,” Aliabadi said Monday. “We’re between storms.”

The storm repairs are likely to be costly.

“It’s not (just) a million-dollar storm,” she said.

But it will likely take months to tally up all the invoices from about 200 out-of-state line crews.

“We’ve pulled crews from Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Montana,” Aliabadi said. “They’re coming from all over, in addition to all the equipment — new poles, new insulators, new wires.”

Meanwhile, there’s no revenue coming from meters that aren’t spinning during the outage. She had no estimate on the amount of that lost revenue.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press


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