The Imperial Irrigation District Thursday urged its power customers to refrain from releasing Mylar balloons into the sky in the wake of a balloon-caused widespread power outage in Indio and Bermuda Dunes.
The outage that affected 1,308 customers was reported about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. Power was restored about an hour later.
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.
IID officials advise that weights should always be used on Mylar balloons, which should never be released outdoors.
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