Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Balloons cause power outage to thousands

A power outage caused by Mylar balloons contacting power lines affected nearly 6,000 customers in Wauwatosa over the holiday weekend. 

The outage occurred just before 7 p.m. on Sunday night. Our crews found that Mylar balloons made contact with our equipment causing a wire to come down in a residential area. Repairs were made, and a new wire was installed. All customers were restored after a few hours.

Helium-filled metallic or Mylar balloons caused more than a dozen power outages in 2015, affecting more than 21,000 of our customers. The metallic surface of the balloons can act as a conductor that can create a short circuit in a power line.

When balloons are found on power lines, they typically are located in residential areas. That is cause for great concern because lines could fall across fences or in front of homes.

No matter the cause, downed power lines can be energized and dangerous. Always stay at least 25 feet away and tell others to do the same. Call us at 800-662-4797 to report the downed line.

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