The lights, and perhaps more importantly, the air conditioning, went
out in the northwest corner of the city for more than an hour
Wednesday after a Mylar balloon drifted into a power station.
The balloon floated over a wall and into the station near the
corner of Winona Avenue and Ontario Street at 3:36 p.m., Burbank
Water and Power Assistant General Manager Greg Simay said. The
balloon short-circuited several conductors, which Simay said caused a
brief outage throughout the city and an extended outage on the
The outage affected 4,000 customers, of which Simay said half were
residential. Most had their power restored at 4:50 p.m., however he
said some were not turned on until 5:40 p.m.
About 20 patrol and motor officers were called out to direct
traffic at major intersections where the lights could not be turned
to flashing red, police spokesman Sgt. William Berry said.
Backup generators at the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport came
on immediately, so spokesman Victor Gill said there was no outage to
the tower or terminal.
Simay said it was the only time he could recall a balloon causing
such an extensive outage.
“We’ve had Mylar balloons get tangled in lines, but they generally
don’t drift into stations,” he said.