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Metallic balloons blamed for power outage in Maili


As stray metallic balloons cut power to about 2,000 customers this morning on the Waianae Coast, Hawaiian Electric Co. officials are urging the public during this graduation season not to release the metallic balloons into the sky because of the possibility of more outages.

This morning’s blackout lasted from 2 to 3 a.m. in Maili, where crews removed the metallic balloons from the power lines near Maili Elementary, said HECO spokeswoman Sharon Higa.

HECO said the metallic balloons are coated with a material that conducts electricity and can create a short circuit when tangled in a power line.

Last weekend, nearly 4,000 customers in Ewa Beach, Mapunapuna, and Honolulu were affected by outages caused by metallic balloons.

HECO also provided these tips to reduce stray metallic balloons:

>> Always add a heavy weight on the end of the balloon string. If you have several metallic 

balloons, each balloon should have its own weight.

>> At the point of purchase, make sure the retailer has securely tied the ribbon or string to 

the balloon at the sealing point. 

>> Use only nonmetallic ribbon or string.

>> Do not remove the weight until the balloon is properly deflated. The best way to deflate 

the balloon is to cut the balloon at the knot or sealing point.

>> Most importantly, never release metallic balloons into the sky.

If you see a metallic balloon or any object caught in a power line, please leave it alone and call 

Hawaiian Electric’s trouble line at 548-7961 to report it.

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