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Fresno's Valentine's Day Wrecked After Balloon Cuts Power To Thousands

FRESNO (CBS SF/AP) — More than 2,300 households in Fresno lost power Valentine's Day evening after a metallic gift balloon drifted into a power line.

Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said that the outage began about 8 p.m. in an area east of Valentine Avenue, The Fresno Bee reported Monday. Most lights were back on an hour later but some residents were without power until midnight.

Last year, metallic balloons caused about 450 outages in PG&E's service area in Northern and central California, halting power to more than 250,000 homes and businesses, the utility reported. They said this was nearly a 30% increase in balloon-caused outages from 2019.

The utility routinely warns residents of the dangers of balloons before major holidays.

"Metallic balloons are an easy way to make at-home celebrations more festive, but nothing puts a damper on a romantic evening faster than a widespread power outage for you, your friends or your neighbors," said Ken Wells, vice president of electronic distribution, in a news release earlier this month.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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