Don’t forget: Call 811 before you dig

Duke Energy is reminding customers to call before they dig this National Safe Digging Month.

“Every April, many homeowners and construction crews begin projects that involve digging, and with that, we see an increase in emergency calls for cut utility lines,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana, in a news release Monday. “In addition to potential danger and expense of damaged utilities, many incidents lead to road closures and evacuations, and they can tie up police, fire and other emergency resources.”

Last year, the utility reported 440 cuts to its underground electric lines in Indiana. Planning ahead and calling 811 is the best way to dig safe and prevent “potentially dangerous” damage to underground utilities, according to the news release.

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” system was created so anyone who plans to dig can make a free call to have underground utility lines marked.

Contractors, homeowners, business owners and anyone preparing for an excavation project should call 811 at least three business days before digging begins. The local utilities will send a crew to mark underground lines in the area — electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and others — with stakes, flags or paint, the news release said.

To learn more about 811 and Duke Energy, visit To get in touch with Indiana 811, call 811 or go to