A Mylar balloon flew into power lines, causing an outage that left 900 Burbank residents and 169 businesses in the dark for 1 1/2 hours Wednesday night.
The balloon, whose use restricted under state law, flew into the lines near Clybourne Avenue and Kling Street and knocked out power for a neighborhood near Toluca Lake, said Gary Simay, electrical services manager for Burbank.
Power was knocked out between 8:44 and 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, affecting only 1% of the city’s power users.
The balloon is made of an aluminized polyester film that conducts electricity. In California, regulations forbid the release of Mylar balloons outdoors and require that they be weighted. Violating the law is a misdemeanor and could lead to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.
“When the balloon came in contact with the line, all of the painting and stenciling pretty much evaporated,” Simay said, adding that the city would probably not be able to determine the balloon’s origins.