Balloon from party caused power outage in Hood River - KPTV - FOX 12

Balloon from party caused power outage in Hood River

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Photo: Pacific Power Photo: Pacific Power
Photo: Pacific Power Photo: Pacific Power

A balloon from a party in Hood River blew into a substation and caused a power outage that lasted for more than an hour.

Pacific Power determined Saturday's outage that affected 7,500 customers was caused by a metallic-skinned helium balloon.

Investigators said unmistakable Mylar shreds were discovered while crews made repairs.

The balloon made contact with electrical equipment at the substation and caused a short.

Pacific Power reports that balloons caused about 30 similar outages in 2015. A balloon caused a six-hour outage in Seaside during the Fourth of July weekend in 2015.

One-third of balloon-caused outages occurred during May and June, when people were celebrating graduations and Father's Day.

Pacific Power workers said even the smallest amount of metal found in the balloons can conduct electricity. Along with outages, balloons could also cause serious injury if they make contact with lines while anyone is touching an attached string.

Pacific Power advises people to keep balloons indoors, attach a weight to a balloon's string so it can't float away and never intentionally release metallic balloons.

Anyone who sees a balloon near a power line should not try to retrieve it. Instead, report it to Pacific Power by calling 1-888-222-7070.

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