BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says her office will defend the more than $24 million in fines issued by state regulators against appeals that have since been filed by three electric utilities.

The Department of Public Utilities fined the companies in early December for their responses Tropical Storm Irene and an October snowstorm last year. Hundreds of thousands of customers lost electricity and many waited longer than a week for restoration after each storm.

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Coakley said Monday the companies have filed appeals as expected.

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National Grid was fined a total of $18.7 million for the two events. It had said it was considering an appeal.

NStar was fined a total of $4.1 million for the two storms. Western Massachusetts Electric Co. was fined $2 million for its response to the snowstorm. Both had announced they would appeal.

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