Empire District seeks to tally tornado costs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The electric company that serves Joplin has indicated to state regulators it may need to raise customer rates in the future to recoup costs from a devastating tornado.

The Missouri Public Service Commission said Wednesday The Empire District Electric Co. is seeking to use an accounting method that allows it to keep a running tally of tornado-related costs and losses.

The PSC auditing manager says such requests are common after storms that cause significant damage and can indicate that a company wants to recoup those costs in its next rate case.

Empire District previously estimated that the May 22 tornado caused between $20 million and $30 million in damage to its infrastructure and resulted in the loss of 10 percent to 15 percent of its customer demand for electricity.

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