FRESNO (AP/CBS13) – A Valentine’s Day balloon filled with helium drifted into a power line Sunday, sparking an outage that temporarily plunged more than 2,300 Fresno households into the dark.
Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said that the outage began about 8 p.m. in an area east of Valentine Avenue, The Fresno Bee reported Monday. Most lights were back on an hour later but some residents were without power until midnight.READ MORE: Homemade Pipe Bomb Found In Front Of South Sacramento Elementary School
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Happy Valentine’s Day!
Please prevent power outages by securing Valentines Day metallic balloons with a weight. pic.twitter.com/RDLZFEKFM5
— Pacific Gas & Electric (@PGE4Me) February 14, 2021
Last year, metallic balloons caused about 450 outages in PG&E’s service area in Northern and central California, halting power to more than 250,000 homes and businesses, the utility reported. They said this was nearly a 30% increase in balloon-caused outages from 2019.
The utility routinely warns residents of the dangers of balloons before major holidays.
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“Metallic balloons are an easy way to make at-home celebrations more festive, but nothing puts a damper on a romantic evening faster than a widespread power outage you, your friends or your neighbors,” said Ken Wells, vice president of electronic distribution, in a news release earlier this month.MORE NEWS: Evacuations Ordered In Response To Hazmat Situation In North Sacramento
Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.