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Fires and floods are sending some of the nation’s largest utilities to the bond market to cover huge, unexpected bills. California’s PG&E Corp., which was forced into bankruptcy a year ago after its equipment sparked the deadliest wildfire in state history, is seeking permission from the state to issue as much as $7 billion in bonds to cover claims. Meanwhile, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp. is putting together a bond deal to pay for almost $1 billion in repairs and other expenses from hurricanes and snowstorms that swept across Florida and the Carolinas.

“In the past, storms haven’t been at this magnitude or this cost,” said Chris Bauer, director for credit and capital markets at Duke.

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