Before digging in yard this spring, call 811 to avoid striking underground utility lines

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Spring kicks off the to-do season for outdoor projects, and Duke Energy urges customers to call 811 at least three days before they dig – whether planting a tree or garden, or installing a deck or fence.

The national “Call Before You Dig” 811 phone number has been designated by the Federal Communications Commission to prevent injuries, utility disruptions and costly utility line repairs.

The free service notifies utility companies, which then send crews to identify and clearly mark underground electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and other utility lines using above-ground stakes, flags or paint – before a customer begins a digging project.

Once a property'’s underground utility lines have been marked, customers know which areas to avoid when digging.

"“Even simple digging jobs can cause serious injuries and disrupt vital utility services to an entire neighborhood,"” said Duke Energy'’s Dean Yancey. "“Before starting a project that involves digging or excavation, safely determine where underground utilities are located by calling 811.”"

There are an estimated 19 million miles of underground utility lines in the U.S. April is “National Safe Digging Month.”

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Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: