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Power outages hit Hermiston twice in four days

A bird and a balloon caused the lights to go out in parts of Hermiston on Friday and Monday.

Published on July 11, 2017 1:41PM

Hermiston customers lost power on Friday and Monday thanks to a bird and a balloon.

About 2,900 Umatilla Electric customers lost power Friday morning when a bird flew into power equipment at the Hermiston Butte substation.

The power failure affected people in Hermiston, Irrigon and Boardman from 9:43 a.m. until 10:41 a.m., with most customers getting power back before noon.

Steve Meyers, a spokesman for Umatilla Electric, said most of the customers affected receive power from the Butte substation. The areas that appeared to be hardest hit were in the northern part of Hermiston near East Punkin Center Road south of Walls Road, the area around Diagonal Boulevard and in southwest Hermiston south of Highland and west of 11th Street.

On Monday evening a metallic party balloon made contact with power lines at Geer Road and Theater Lane, according to Meyers, starting a fire and knocking out power to 2,950 Umatilla Electric members around north Hermiston from 6:45-7:43 p.m.

Myers cautioned that releasing helium balloons into the atmosphere can cause power outages and fires.


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