Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Karly Hernandez told us a power outage that affected 743 Redwood Valley customers yesterday evening was a result of mylar balloons coming into contact with overhead power lines.
Hernandez told us the outage began at 5:07 p.m. last night. Due to the fact that a significant amount of Redwood Valley’s PG&E falls under the companies “enhanced power line safety settings,” all affected lines had to be inspected before power could be restored.
Hernandez told us “Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings” are “intended to increase the speed at which safety devices turn off power in response to faults that could result in fire ignitions.” Last night, PG&E utilized helicopters to inspect the affected line “as a result of the rugged terrain,” Hernandez said.
As per a PG&E press release from February 2021, “Last year, there were zero power outages related to metallic balloons in Lake and Mendocino counties but [balloons] were the cause of 453 power outages across other parts of PG&E’s service territory, disrupting electric service to more than 250,000 homes and businesses.”