Updated 2:45 p.m.
Pacific Power officials say a Mylar balloon drifted into the South Stage Road substation and created a circuit between two wires, causing an overload and subsequent power outage.
The outage switched off several traffic signals in the city, as well as in houses on several west Medford streets, including McKenzie Drive, Andrews Road, Elm Street, Dakota Avenue, West Ninth Street and Chestnut Street.
“Essentially that creates a conductor between the wires. That does happen. It’s unlikely that someone did it on purpose," said Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt. “All you need is a couple that get in the wrong place.”
Company officials report that power was restored around 2:30 p.m.
About 4,310 Pacific Power customers are without power in Medford following an issue at a company substation on South Stage Road.
The specific issue is not yet known, but an explosion was reported at 11:33 a.m. at the substation, 2860 S. Stage Road. No fire was seen, and Pacific Power employees are on site performing repairs, the company's website reported. An estimated completion time of is 3 p.m.
Traffic lights at Stewart Avenue's intersection with Columbus Avenue and Lozier Lane are out. It's not known what other specific neighborhoods are affected.
— Ryan Pfeil
We'll add updates here as they come in.