Mylar balloons released into the air hit a power line Monday in Indio, briefly wiping out power to an estimated 876 customers.
The Imperial Irrigation District reported about 2:35 p.m. that customers in the area of Indio Boulevard and Madison Street had lost electricity. The utility reported 40 minutes later that all affected customers had their power turned back on.
District officials later said Mylar balloons caused to the outage, and urged customers to avoid releasing metallic balloons into the sky.
Mylar balloons, which can stay inflated for two weeks or more, are a frequent cause of power outages. Their metallic coating conducts electricity, and can cause a short-circuit or power surge when they come in contact with power lines, which can lead to large-scale outages, melting of electrical wires and fires.
The district advises that weights should always be used on Mylar balloons outdoors.
Customers remaining without power were urged to check their main breakers or call 800-303-7756.
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