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Protest Reminds Community of Digging Dangers

The public utility officials are reminding homeowners and contractors who plan to dig to dial 8-1-1 in order to avoid calling 9-1-1.
The public utility officials are reminding homeowners and contractors who plan to dig, to dial 811 in order to avoid calling 911.

The organization Dig Safely New York organized a group of protestors at the corner of Harry L. Drive and Reynolds Road in Johnson City on Monday.

They chose the date of August 11 to promote the toll free 811 nationwide number for getting information about buried utilities.

Len Perfetti, the chair of the Southern Tier Damage Prevention Council said that while striking a gas line may pose the greatest threat of immediate explosion, there are plenty of other dangers lurking underground.

"You could dig up a telecommunications cable. You could put out communications to 911, an airport, a hospital, a school. You could put out water service, put out electricity. Electricity is just as dangerous, coming into contact with electric with power equipment," he said.

Perfetti said homeowners should call 811 when digging a posthole for a mailbox or planting a tree.
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