With service restored to nearly 490,000 homes and businesses since Isabel barreled through central and eastern Pennsylvania, PPL Electric Utilities (Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.) expected to have the largest recovery effort in its history essentially completed Tuesday night, Sept. 23.

PPL Electric Utilities put together a work force of more than 2500 people to rebuild power lines, replace poles and repair damaged equipment from Isabel, as well as provide customer service and essential support needs.

Isabel affected the entire 29-county area served by PPL Electric Utilities and brought hurricane-force winds to the Lancaster and Harrisburg areas. The damage led to 4000 repair jobs, more than any other storm in PPL history.

PPL Electric Utilities responded to Isabel with a force of more than 500 line crews — using its own personnel supplemented by crews from other utilities and contractors. In addition, hundreds of PPL employees answered customer calls, made calls to customers providing information and offering assistance, assessed damage and provided other technical, logistical and administrative support.

Despite the difficult, tiring work, the restoration was conducted safely. During the more than 100 hours of work — and 4000 repairs — the company reported only a few minor injuries and traffic accidents.

In an area from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, Isabel left millions of people without power. As of Tuesday morning, Sept. 23, about 1 million homes and businesses were still without power in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.