Thousands Still Feeling Blow From Hurricane Irene

Host Scott Simon has an update on the relief and rebuilding effort left in Hurricane Irene's destructive path.

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SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The country is facing two more major storms, just a week after Irene barreled up the East Coast. Tropical Storm Lee is already pelting parts of the Gulf Coast with rain, and Hurricane Katia is farther out in the Atlantic and threatening to hit in the next few days.

Irene's blow is still being felt by tens of thousands of people in the east, who are still without electricity, down from a peak of more than nine million. One state lawmaker thinks he's found a way to encourage power companies to quickly repair any damage that turns off lights and power. Massachusetts State Representative Dan Winslow will file legislation next week that would require utilities to give customers two-days-worth of rebates for each day their power is out. He says the law would serve two purposes...

STATE REPRESENTATIVE: One, it's just basic fairness for consumers who, you know, lose hundreds of dollars of food and have other inconveniences. And two, it's to create a financial incentive to motivate the utility companies to both prepare for and to appropriately react to a major power outage event.

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