Metallic Balloons Cut Power to 1,600 Users

About 1,600 Encino and Van Nuys customers lost electrical service for several hours Thursday afternoon when power lines were short-circuited by metallic balloons, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported.

Power was lost about 2:40 p.m. when two balloons--often included in bouquets or party decorations--became entangled in the 4,800-volt power lines at Magnolia Boulevard and Kester Avenue, said DWP spokeswoman Stacy Unger.

Customers in the Van Nuys area had service restored shortly after 4 p.m.; those in Encino regained service about an hour later.