Balloon knocks out power to thousands

More than 6,000 PG&E customers lost electrical service for nearly an hour Sunday afternoon when a mylar balloon damaged power lines in The City’s Mission District, a utility spokeswoman said.

The outage was first reported near 15th and Guerrero streets at 12:34 p.m., according to PG&E spokeswoman Karly Hernandez.

A mylar balloon was found entangled in the power lines nearby at 15th and Shotwell streets. PG&E had power restored to all 6,246 customers by 1:31 p.m.

Hernandez said:

“This is a great reminder that a little balloon can have major impact for others. … Any mylar balloon should be safely tied to a weight – not released outside – for everyone’s safety.”

If members of the general public see a mylar balloon near live power lines, Hernandez said to avoid touching it and call PG&E at (800) 973-5920.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency trains briefly started bypassing the Church Station due to the power outage, but the station had reopened for underground subway service by 1:42 p.m.