Thousands without power in downtown SLO this morning

About 3,000 customers were without power in downtown San Luis Obispo starting at 9:30 a.m. today, with power expected to be restored by 10:45 to 11 a.m., according to a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman.

The outage caused drivers along Marsh Street to maneuver downtown intersections without the assistance of stoplights, and some businesses operated in the dark.

The incident followed a report that a mylar-style balloon had struck power lines near Buchon Street.

PG&E Spokeswoman Sharon Gavin said the problem will be solved before there is an investigation into its cause. But she said the combination metallic-polyester balloons have enough metal in them to conduct electricity.

“Mylar balloons frequently cause outages even if they don’t hit the wire,” she said. “They can cause an arc to go between the wires.”

--Sally Connell

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