Couple's wedding balloons cut power to courthouse

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By The Staff

TELL CITY - A couple's courthouse marriage created real sparks Monday morning after balloons apparently released by the wedding party became snagged in power lines along Indiana 37, cutting power to the courthouse and damaging a generator control panel.

The courthouse power supply lost two of its three phases after the mylar balloons released by the couple floated across the parking lot toward Greenwood Cemetery. However, instead of sailing off to parts unknown, they hit a Tell City Electric Department power line. That caused a loss in power at the courthouse. A generator behind the courthouse was activated.

Electric-department crews removed the balloons but when the attempt was made to switch back to regular power, the generator wouldn't make the switchover due to the damaged panel.

The lack of power kept offices from using computers and meant no air-conditioning. Most courthouse offices have only small windows that can be opened and county commissioners allowed employees to go home in the afternoon due to hot conditions. County Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Hauser said repairs were made Monday evening and the air conditioning system was working when employees returned Tuesday. Parts for the generator control panel are on order.

The couple, whose application for a marriage license listed an address in the 1400 block of Main Street in Tell City, apparently had placed their name and e-mail address on the balloons in hopes someone who found them would reply. It was unclear if the couple will be held responsible for the cost of repairs.