The Imperial Irrigation District Thursday urged its power customers to refrain from releasing Mylar balloons into the sky in the wake of recent balloon-caused power outages in the Coachella Valley.
The district said metallic balloons have caused about 50 outages in 2021 alone, causing temporary power loss to residents and businesses.
Mylar balloons can stay inflated for two weeks or more. 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. Mylar balloons should be deflated and thrown away when no longer needed, officials said.
Anybody who sees a metallic balloon touching a power line should call IID at 800-303-7756.