PPL Electric Utilities yesterday rallied its work crews to help restoration efforts in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

The utility sent more than 130 PPL linemen, contractor linemen and support personnel to help Pepco and BGE restore power to 235,000 customers without power as a result of the Wednesday snowstorm that walloped the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. PPL Electric Utilities participates in an industry mutual-aid sharing arrangement with other mid-Atlantic electric utilities.

"Although it was a major storm, PPL Electric Utilities customers were mostly spared from power outages," said David Schleicher, general manager of work and asset management for PPL Electric Utilities. "At times like this, we're more than willing to help our neighboring utilities to deal with extraordinary power outages. The cooperation of utilities helps all customers by making sure the electrical system remains reliable and strong."

Over the course of the storm, PPL Electric Utilities crews responded to 38 cases of trouble and restored power to about 2,400 customers.

Because weather forecasts for PPL's service territory, which encompasses 29 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania, show no severe weather in the near future, the utility's storm emergency planners agreed to send crews to help harder hit areas.

Schleicher said PPL will retain enough crews in Pennsylvania to handle normal outage problems and maintain reliability for its 1.4 million customers.

The PPL crews are expected to be in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas until Sunday.