About 50 Detroit Edison linemen and support personnel left for Cincinnati in a caravan of about 20 trucks at noon yesterday, to help Duke Energy restore service to about 80,000 customers who lost power in the winter storm that moved through the Midwest Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

While the storm produced heavy snowfall in the Detroit area, it produced freezing rain and snow in southern Ohio. The Detroit Edison electrical system was not affected by the wind and powdery snow. As a result, the company is able to release some line crews to assist Duke Energy.

In addition, about 45 contract linemen normally assigned to Detroit Edison left Tuesday to assist American Electric Power (AEP) with restoration efforts in southern Ohio.

Utilities have a tradition of offering storm restoration assistance under mutual aid agreements. Crews from several neighboring states assisted Detroit Edison when an ice storm here caused outages affecting more than 100,000 customers in January.