AK - Balloon causes power outage, snarls traffic

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A downed electrical line in the Valley Saturday caused a traffic jam and a three-hour power outage for about 30 homes in the area of Valley Boulevard and Kiowa Drive. The cause was something of a fluke involving Mylar, helium-filled balloons. Peter Bibb of Alaska Electric Light and Power says the balloons escaped from a car, came into contact with the power lines causing a direct short -- enough to actually sever a transmission line. As a precaution, police blocked roads, which backed up traffic for about 45 minutes. Bibb says the power went out around 10:40am, and crews took about three hours to fix the line and restore it.


-- Doris (reaper@pacifier.com), October 24, 2000

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