Construction company drives a stake in a service line causing gas leak in Mitchell

MITCHELL – A construction company working on a driveway in the 100 block of Odea Court drove a stake through a service line Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters respond to a gas leak in the 100 block of Odea Court in Mitchell Thursday afternoon.

“This all could have been prevented if they would have called 811. Anytime a homeowner does any kind of digging, including planting flowers, should have their utility lines located,” said Mitchell Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Coble.

CenterPoint Energy responded to take care of the natural gas leak. There were not any evacuations needed.

Firefighters from the Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene for approximately one hour.

In October 2020, a Mitchell man working on his sewer hit a two-inch gas main in the 600 block of 7th street that forced the evacuation of residents due to a gas leak. Residents were forced out of their homes for almost three hours during that incident.

People are excited about being outdoors, planting trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as begining outdoor construction projects to make their homes more comfortable.

But before you dig it is important to call 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline, and ask that the underground utilities on your property be properly located and marked.

“Calling 811 before digging anywhere prevents damage to underground utilities, prevents potential personal injury, and avoids electric and other utility outages,” said Scott Batson Duke Energy, senior vice president, and chief distribution officer. It also avoids costly repairs for the offenders.”

Contractors, homeowners, business owners, and anyone preparing for a digging project of any kind should call 811 at least three business days before digging begins. The local utilities will then send a crew to mark underground lines in the area including electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable, TV, and others with above-ground stakes, flags, or paint, which indicates restricted areas before a customer begins a digging project.

In 2019, the U.S. Common Ground Alliance reported approximately 532,000 excavation-related damage events in the U.S., an increase of 14 percent from 2018, the latest year for which figures are available. Estimated damages in 2019 totaled approximately $30 billion in direct and indirect losses.

For more information about the “Call Before You Dig” system in Indiana visit https://indiana811.org/.

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