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UPDATE: Balloon precipitated power outage
Traffic is backed up on 138 southbound during Tuesday's power outage. - photo by Bryan Fazio

UPDATE (June 15, 1:46 p.m.) Georgia Power spokesperson Carol Boatwright confirmed that a balloon of sorts came into contact with power lines, which precipitated events that caused a power outage Tuesday afternoon.

Boatwright explained that the power lines are designed to clear themselves when something comes into contact.

“For instance, if a limb just brushes it, it will shut itself down and start itself back up. It’s a defense mechanism to keep people from losing power,” said Boatwright.

“When the line came back up, there’s a little bit of a surge in power and electricity. It caused a piece of equipment to fail - a lightning arrester.  That’s what caused the outage,” she said.

The lightning arrester was located at the Salem Gate substation.

Power was out to about 7,000 customers, and power was restored to the last customer around 8:30 p.m.


(June 14, 8:33 p.m.): Power has been restored to many areas and traffic lights at most intersections are working as of 8:30 p.m.


(June 14, 6:11 p.m.): The power outage that spread across Rockdale County at around 4:40 p.m. today is expected to last until around 7:30 p.m. when Georgia Power estimates that it will be restored. 


(June 14, 5:42 p.m.): An advertising blimp or balloon at John Miles Chevrolet dealership on Dogwood Drive reportedly shorted out a transformer when it flew into power lines today, according to the Conyers Police Department.

Lights are reported working at the intersection of Flat Shoals and Old Salem Road and are flashing on Salem Road.


(June 14, 4:44 p.m.) Rockdale was hit with a reportedly wide-spread power outage around 4:40 p.m. today.

According to the Conyers Police Department, a power line was hit near the John Miles Chevy dealership on Dogwood Drive. Georgia Power crews are reportedly on their way.

Power was reported out throughout Conyers and into the county, including places on Sigman Road, near the Visy/Pratt paper plant, Parker Road near the Rockdale Career Academy, Salem Road, and on Scott Street near Olde Town Conyers.

The Rockdale County Fire and Rescue department is responding to fire alarm calls, many of which occur automatically when power goes out and the alarms are reset, said RCFD interim Deputy Chief Dan Morgan.

Traffic lights are reportedly down on parts of Ga Highway 138 near Interstate 20. The traffic lights were working near the intersection of 138 and Flat Shoals. Drivers are urged to use caution while driving home.

Check back to for more information.