Balloons cause power outage in downtown Victoria

B.C. Hydro said more than 5,000 were without power for about an hour

Escaped balloons caught in power lines caused an outage last night that briefly plunged downtown Victoria into darkness.

More than 5, 000 were without power Wednesday around 4:00 p.m. after untethered helium balloons came into contact with power lines, causing the outage. B.C. Hydro untangled the rogue balloons and restored power at around 5:45 p.m.

But this isn’t the first time a balloon has been apprehended for cutting the power.

Last year, rogue balloons were responsible for 30 outages affecting tens of thousands of people across the province.

B.C. Hydro is asking the public to hang on to their balloons to prevent not only outages, but serious injuries and major damage to electrical infrastructure. Today they released some safety tips to prevent future incidents, including: watching overhead for powerlines, weighing individual balloons to keep them from escaping, avoiding latex and metallic streamers which conduct electricity, and disposing of balloon properly.

If you see any object stuck in a power line, call B.C. Hydro at 1-800-224-9376.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

With files from Christine van Reeuwyk

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