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PG&E Shares Stats Of Local Outages From Escaped Metallic Balloons

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Sonora, CA – While candlelight can be a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend option a blackout constitutes a bummer for a whole community.

PG&E spokesperson Brandi Merlo shares with Clarke Broadcasting that a number of these shiny billows that escaped into the skies knocked out power to thousands of customers last year.

In fact, in the areas of San Joaquin, Amador and Calaveras counties alone, metallic balloons coming into contact with power lines over the Valentine’s Day holiday in 2019 sparked 34 outages that impacted over 14,000 customers. She did not report any related outages in Tuolumne County. Overall, PG&E reports these balloons caused 376 power outages in the utility’s services area disrupting electrical service to over 179,000 homes and businesses.

Officials ask those who give or receive metallic balloons over the Valentine’s-Presidents’ Day holiday weekend to make sure they remain secured with enough weight to prevent them from floating away and when possible keep them inside.

Additionally, do not bundle metallic balloons together in a bunch and never attempt to retrieve any kind of balloon, kite or other objects that becomes entangled in a powerline but immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the issue.

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