Balloons Cause Power Disruption, Rowe Street, Tamaqua, 10-16-2015 (6)A set of aluminum foil party balloons resulted in a short power disruption that caused power to flicker two times last night (Friday, October 16, 2015) for thousands of PPL customers in and around Tamaqua. Residents living on and around the 200 block of West Rowe Street in Tamaqua said they heard loud bangs at around 10:16 PM and 10:19 PM. Both times, power went off and on for hundreds of PPL customers in and around the borough. In addition, some Hometown residents noted on Facebook that their power had flickered as well.
After hearing the bangs, Brent Confer, who lives on the 200 block of West Rowe Street, looked outside to see sparks “dripping” from wires onto a parked vehicle below. He said it first appeared to be a burning pole or transformer. Upon closer investigation, Tamaqua firefighters determined the cause to be from a set of aluminum foil (a.k.a. Mylar) party balloons.
Burnt balloons could be seen laying on the ground below the wire, as well as melted to the truck below.
Confer added that a PPL crew stopped a little while later to inspect the affected power lines. The crew told Confer that the line would have to be replaced. Although the crew member was unable to say when the repairs would begin.
No serious damage was noted elsewhere.

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