GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — The Long Island Power Authority said it’s doubling the amount it budgets for storm damage.

As much as $50 million is being set aside to respond to storms in the 2011 budget. That’s a $23 million increase over this year’s reserve.

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The increase means the typical customer will see bills increase $1.50 a month.

The utility said the past two storm seasons have been unusually severe.

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LIPA chief operating officer Michael Hervey said he’d rather be overprepared the next time a storm threatens Long Island.

About $54 million of the $180 million spent this year on storms is expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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