Dial before you dig in Georgia - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Dial before you dig in Georgia

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Much of the valley is in store for another good soaking, but with every break in the weather, it's a good idea to assess conditions around your home -- including potential pools of standing water.

Before you grab a shovel to dig a drainage ditch, you'll need to take one important step. Pick up the phone and dial 8-1-1.

It's an easy number to remember, and should be dialed before any digging in your yard.

The Liason Manager for the Georgia Utilities Protection center Call Center, Terry McLaurin said, "The smart thing to do if you have any, I mean any gardening, flower beds, it would be a smart idea to call."

Here's how it works: 811 will connect you with the Georgia Utilities Protection Center. Kim Weaver with Georgia Power explained, "Once the call comes in they will dispatch the power, cable and gas company. So Georgia Power gets that request and we send out our locater group and they have 72 hours to go to that home and locate the cable for the customer."

"We come out and locate the power lines going to and from the house. We don't want them to dig it up or get hurt or cut the power for the neighborhood," added Georgia Power Cable Locater, Brian McCrory.

After several reports of injuries, the call center could save your home and possibly your life.

"It has really reduced the amount of damages so I'm happy to say Georgia is one of the best "One Call" centers in the nation and we have substantially lowered the number of damages because of communications," said McLaurin.

It takes just a few minutes and the best part is, the call and the service to have your lines marked are completely free.

The number should be used by homeowners, landscapers, farmers, excavators and basically anybody who is about to dig. And like the officials said, whether it's a flower bed or a new in-ground pool, they want everyone to call 811 because you never know what's below.

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