By CBSLA Staff

LA QUINTA (CBSLA) – In the wake of recent balloon-caused power outages in the Coachella Valley, the Imperial Irrigation District urged customers Thursday to refrain from releasing mylar balloons into the sky.

District irrigation officials said the release of metallic balloons are responsible for some 50 outages in 2021 alone, leading to temporary power loss to residents and businesses.

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The balloons, which can stay inflated for two weeks or more, have a metallic coating that conducts electricity that can cause a short-circuit or power surge when they in contact with power lines. These incidents can lead to large-scale outages, melting of electrical wires and fires.

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The district also said that weights should always be used to anchor mylar balloons and they should never released outside, adding that the balloons need to be deflated and thrown away when no longer needed.

IID requested that anyone in the area who sees a metallic balloon touching power lines should report it at 800-303-7756.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)