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Belmont Shore Power Outage Update: Restored by 12a

Mylar balloons tethered around electrical wires at Corona and Division caused a fire that seared wires, which crews are out fixing. Live wire was removed.

Update at 4:30p.m. Monday: Edison spokesman Dan Chung said crews restored power to all 700-plus residents by midnight, or 3 hours early.

Update at 10:45 p.m.: There's a darkness on the edge of dawn: 3 a.m. remains the hour by which all residents' power will return.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. with Edison outage duration and numbers affected.

Metallic birthday balloons caused Belmont Shore's power outage that left 700 people without electricity Sunday afternoon through evening, according to Southern California Edison.

Some locations (including this writer's) lucked out in the breadth of the outage because they were being powered by the only electric wire still working in the affected area; two lines were destroyed in the balloon-sparked flame, Edison supervisors on-scene told Patch.

The outage area, according to two Edison supervisors who oversaw the removal of the live wires on the south/east corner of Corona and Division, spreads from that side of Corona all the way to both sides of Claremont, and from the alley behind Second Street down to the alley behind Ocean Boulevard homes.

Yet Patch has heard people beyond those boundaries say they were without power Sunday night: on Roycroft, Nieto and other streets west of Corona.

Second Street businesses, they said, are on a different line or grid from the outage lines, as are residents on the Ocean Avenue side of the alley parallel to Ocean. 

Pomona Avenue's power came back on at about 5 p.m., as it appeared it did on Glendora.

According to the workers, sometime around or before 4 p.m., the metallic baloons wrapped around the electric wires, sparking a brief fire that severed two of three active lines (the other two are not live).

The fire caused live wires to be dangling, and emergency crews addressed those first, the Edison managers said.

They offered this advice regarding a future situation one might encounter, as did Edison news bureau manager Dan Chung:

1. Never touch live wires. From a distance, report them swiftly via 9-1-1.

2. If you are in your car and a live wire drops on your car--as might have happened Sunday but did not--stay in your car. The tires will protect you. Wait until a fire official tells you it is safe to exit. 

The Edison supervisors said electric line replacement crews were called from home and will take up to two hours to arrive (8:15 p.m., approximately). The work will then take four to five hours, the Edison workers said. Spokesman Chung updated the estimate as being completely restored at 3 a.m.

David Lang October 22, 2012 at 04:36 AM
the east side of Claremont did not loose power. Only the West side.
Nancy Wride October 22, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Glad to hear it. I am going by just what the Edison guys in the trucks who repaired the live wires told me. For instance, only the East side of Corona.
Nancy Wride October 22, 2012 at 07:14 AM
12:13 a.m., Santa Ana Avenue has power, at least I'm hearing from the East side of the street, 100 block.
Mark Keough October 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM
La Verne Ave seemed to lose power its entire length south of 2nd. We walked all the way to Lucille's on 2nd and all the streets south of 2nd seemed to be out west of La Verne. No businesses seemed effected and the first row of houses next to the alley on all streets seemed to be on. Must be on the same circuit as 2nd St. Will the person(s) who caused this inconvenience be billed for anything?
Nancy Wride October 22, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Interesting question. On the one hand, it was a giant pain for hundreds of people but on the other hand, most of us have probably had a small child lose their grip on balloons, right? Mylar balloons are the problem, not rubber.

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