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Balloon knocks out power to 2,800 in Huntington Beach

More than 160 Southern California Edison customers in Huntington Beach remained without power late Tuesday afternoon after a Mylar balloon got tangled in a power line, causing a transformer to explode, officials said.

Nearly 2,800 Edison customers in the area of Melbourne Drive, Windemeir Lane, Ventura Drive and Countess Drive were without power initially, said Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn.

By 3:30 p.m., 161 homes in the area of McFadden Avenue, Toway Lane, Edinger Avenue and Aulnay Lane were still without power. Officials said they expected the power to be restored by 9 p.m.

Huntington Beach fire officials received several calls at about 12:15 p.m. that an explosion in the 6300 block of Down Drive had resulted in a power outage, said Battalion Chief Jeff Lopez.

At least one power line fell onto the front lawn of a home. Edison crews responded and determined the line was no longer live, Lopez said.

The silver metallic coating on a Mylar balloon conducts electricity and can cause serious issues when it comes in contact with power lines, Lopez said.

June has become a peak month for power outages linked to metallic balloons. Southern California Edison attributes that to an increase in balloon purchases for graduations, weddings and Father’s Day.

Edison said it has experienced an average of 132 balloon-related outages in June over the past five years.

Last year, 1.2 million Edison customers were affected by balloon-related outages, statistics show.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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