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MidAmerican Energy News

MidAmerican Energy Reminds Customers to Call 811 Before Digging

DES MOINES, Iowa – (April 28, 2015) – MidAmerican Energy Company reminds homeowners and contractors of the importance of calling 811, their local one-call service, before excavating or digging.

Every six minutes in the U.S., an underground utility line is damaged because someone started digging without first calling 811. Accidental dig-ins create potentially dangerous situations and result in costly repairs and service outages for utility customers.

One Call is a free service that connects callers who plan to dig with their state’s one call center to arrange for underground power lines and other utilities to be marked and properly avoided. Residents are required by law to call 811 at least 48 hours before beginning any digging project, regardless of size or depth.

“Even when digging only a few inches, it is still possible to hit an underground line,” said Tom Hutchins, vice president, gas delivery for MidAmerican Energy. “Projects such as putting stakes or fences in the ground, planting trees, and installing a deck all require a call to 811 to ensure safety.”

Hutchins said even the smallest dent or scratch to an underground facility can put those doing the digging and their neighbors at risk.

A recent survey by the Common Ground Alliance predicts that approximately 38.6 million Americans will dig this year without first notifying 811 to have their underground utility lines located.

Failure to call 811 could result in serious injury, property damage, power outages, fines or prosecution for civil penalties.

If an underground facility is struck, customers are urged to:

• Leave the area immediately and tell others to stay away.
• Call 911 and then call 811 to report the incident.
• Report even minor damage; what looks harmless can cause big trouble.

If 811 is not available in a specific location, customers should call:

• Illinois – 800-892-0123
• Iowa – 800-292-8989
• Nebraska – 800-331-5666
• South Dakota – 800-781-7474

Residents should make arrangements with a private locate company to mark privately owned lines not owned by a utility.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.