Metal balloon causes power outage for thousands in Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — More than 6,000 PG&E customers in the city of Santa Cruz suffered a power outage Friday morning.

PG&E crews, according to corporate communications representative Mayra Tostado, narrowed the cause down to a metal balloon tangled in electrical equipment near Houts Drive.

The power outage shortly after 9 a.m., affecting 6,403 customers, was restored by 12:30 p.m. the same day. The outage was from West Cliff Drive to the Pogonip area.

Tostado wrote a reminder that with graduation season in full swing, PG&E is seeing an increase in outages caused by metal balloons on the Central Coast. Since Father’s Day is Sunday, there’s an added risk that more Mylar balloons that aren’t properly secured could fly into power lines and cause outages.

PG&E tips for handling metallic balloons correctly:

• Securely tie metallic helium-filled balloons with a weight.
• Keep metal balloons indoors and away from overhead power lines.
• Do not group metal balloons.
• Never attempt to retrieve a ball, kite or toy stuck on a live power line.
• Do not touch a downed power line. Dial 911 immediately.

Map of PG&E outages as of 10:15 a.m. Friday