Balloons Take Power Out in Santa Clara at 11:45 a.m. Today
SANTA CLARA, Calif.– March 10, 2017 – Another power outage caused by helium balloons struck Santa Clara at 11:45 a.m. today and affected 2,500 customers and impacted traffic safety, and darkened schools, homes and businesses in part of the city near the intersection of Bowers Ave. and the El Camino Real. Power to customers is expected to be restored within the hour and customers remained powerless as of 12:10 p.m. as crews remove balloons and insure safety.
Multiple outages happen every year due to the failure to secure helium balloons, according to Silicon Valley Power (SVP), Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility.
“Balloons contacting power lines often hurtle to the ground in a fiery molten mess that can start a fire,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Services. “This thoughtless release of helium balloons today at lunchtime ruins people’s day when they lose power, causes costly damage and is just plain dangerous.”
SVP has an intense educational campaign underway about the dangers of loose helium balloons, including a 90-second video that ran in local theaters and on the city’s cable channel 15. Foil and latex helium balloons can wrap around and short out power lines.
“We want balloons to remain fun for everyone, but when they get loose it becomes not fun in a hurry,” said Owens, who noted that a balloon-caused outage in Santa Clara in April 2016 affected 2,000 customers and another in May caused a power surge throughout the city.
Outage updates available @santaclarapower
SVP’s video promoting helium balloon safety: www.vimeo.com/153384353
Larry Owens, Silicon Valley Power
Email: lowens (at) svpower.com
About Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 53,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, Owens Corning, Agilent Technologies and NVIDIA, at rates 16 to 43 percent below neighboring communities.