Walnut Creek: Power Restored After Outage Affecting More than 13K Customers

August 19, 2014 16:08 pm · 12 comments

Power has been restored in Walnut Creek this afternoon after a massive outage knocked out electricity for more than 13,000 PG&E customers, a utility spokeswoman said.

The outage began a short time after 2 p.m. and affected part of downtown in the area of Broadway Plaza and a roughly 1.5-mile stretch of Ygnacio Valley Road from Civic Drive to Walnut Avenue, according to PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian.

Power was fully restored to all customers by around 3:30 p.m., Sarkissian said.

The cause of the outage appears to be metallic balloons that made contact with a PG&E substation, she said.

WC August 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Whew, not enough time for the Chardonnay to get warm. That would be a bummer to be shopping all day and end up with a warm glass of wine at eateries near the plaza. Just saying…

Walnut Creek Resident August 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Those darn balloons!

I'm The Urban Spaceman August 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Ban the Balloons!
Ban The Balloonitics that abuse them.

Cowellian August 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM


Doncha’ just hate it when that happens?

Jerk August 19, 2014 at 4:53 PM

13,000 signatures right there – Unless of course you don’t care.

bigbry August 19, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I dont care hehe

BM August 19, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Power was out at N.Main and 3rd Ave.

bluebird August 19, 2014 at 5:26 PM

La Casa Via affected too.

94598 August 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Dang-it, Now the terrorists know how to take us out—- bundles of Happy Birthday mylar balloons.

KenInConcord August 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM

How come the balloons are not BLASTED into dust in a micosecond, How much current will foil support? How can this take out half a grid?

Mieke August 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

No electricity on Ramsay Circle-cross street Camino Verde; about 20/25 minutes.

Jeff August 20, 2014 at 2:12 AM

About 4 years ago, we had a birthday party at home. A friend brought over a bunch of those Mylar balloons all tied together. She walked in back yard and somehow let them loose by mistake. They rose directly to the 175,000 volt power lines (same ones that pass John Muir Hospital) and started sparking up a storm on one conductor. A few burnt loose and rose away, but three hung in there for about 3 days on one of wire. PG&E came out, as I called them fast, but explained to me that as long as the balloons don’t touch across two conductors, we would be fine. But if they did cross two, It would blow that line down and a City would loose power. We watched for 3 days as the last balloons buzzed day and night. A bit embarrassing as it was middle Summer and neighbors were sleeping with windows open, and that constant buzzzzap noise was annoying! Finally the last clump of fried balloon did fall to my neighbors yard, and it was all finished.

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