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Power restored to more than 4,500 customers impacted by outage

Original post made on Feb 18, 2022

More than 4,500 customers in Palo Alto lost power for about an hour on Friday afternoon in an outage that began shortly after 2 p.m. and that was caused by a Mylar balloon hitting power lines, according to the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 18, 2022, 2:49 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2022 at 4:26 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

This time it was a balloon again and yes we know they should be kept out of powerlines. But we can't tell the squirrels, the geese, the seagulls to do the same. They have to stay out of our powerlines too.


Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 18, 2022 at 9:58 pm

Donald is a registered user.

Mylar balloons are OK as long as they are not filled with helium. Those filled with air will not rise and float away into power lines. Let's make sure we are clear on exactly what the problem is.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 18, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Can the balloons disable the $23,000,000 fiber-to-the-home system?


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2022 at 11:05 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

Bystander
You’re joking, right?

Maybe it’s time for a city ordnance against helium filled Mylar balloons. They have enough structure they really don’t have to be filled with helium to be fun. The other possibility is figuring out how to automatically fill them to be neutrally bouyant. Might make a good science project (and patent) for someone. There have been way too many power outages from Mylar Ballons though. It’s not a benign cost.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

By banning the sale of mylar balloons in Palo Alto, you will only send people to other cities or counties to buy them. Helium tanks for filling balloons can be bought on Amazon and probably in party stores!

The problem is basically that things fly around in Palo Alto even when there is no wind. We have had occasions when power outages are caused by geese, seagulls and squirrels as well as helium filled balloons that are not mylar. The problem is not the things that fly around but the powerlines are overhead and in the way of lots of things including tree branches. Banning balloons would be as useful as banning geese, seagulls and squirrels. It just isn't going to happen.

It is time that our overhead powerlines were dealt with properly. They are outdated and susceptible to damage and could easily be a target for some nefarious group who wanted to cause some type of mayhem.


Posted by Terry Morse
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2022 at 9:38 am

Terry Morse is a registered user.

This is the third mylar balloon outage at our Midtown address in the last few years. Power outages is one problem, another is that they never degrade in the environment.

It's time to just say no to mylar balloons.


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