CenterPoint Energy encourages safety awareness during National Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON, April 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As companies and communities adjust how we work and live in the quickly changing environment impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), CenterPoint Energy will continue to partner with the Common Ground Alliance to commemorate April as National Safe Digging Month and encourage customers to follow safe digging practices.

Safe digging practices not only prevent damage and service interruptions for underground utilities like natural gas, electric and water, but also help keep those doing the work safe. During a time when many find themselves working from home and schools are closed, there may be an increase in do-it-yourself projects. Residential and commercial customers should remember to call 811 before performing any outdoor digging project to avoid accidentally damaging underground utilities.

"Whether it's a small project, such as planting shrubs, or a commercial building project, customers should call 811 at least two working days before digging," said Ashley Babcock, director of Damage Prevention and Public Awareness for CenterPoint Energy. "By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are abiding by an important law put in place meant to help keep them and their communities safe."

CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors, as well as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Utility line locate companies are no exception and are properly equipped with personal protective equipment while performing work. If you see CenterPoint Energy crews or CenterPoint Energy contractors performing work, please avoid approaching them and continue to practice social distancing.

In the event a gas line is struck or ruptured outside of a home or business, customers are reminded of the following:

    --  Leave the area of the gas leak immediately, as well as areas where the
        odor of gas is noticeable.
    --  Do not attempt to re-start or move powered equipment.
    --  Call CenterPoint Energy to report the leak. The party responsible for
        the damage to the gas line should also call 911 and report the incident
        to police and/or fire officials and the state's 811 center.
    --  Remain in a safe area until emergency personnel arrive and do not enter
        the home/business or neighboring premises.

Visit for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process. For more information on natural gas safety, visit

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in nearly 40 states. Through its electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses, the company serves more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include natural gas marketing and energy-related services; energy efficiency, sustainability and infrastructure modernization solutions; and construction and repair services for pipeline systems, primarily natural gas. The company also owns 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 14,000 employees and nearly $35 billion in assets, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit

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SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.