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Residents of the Pacific Northwest are eager for sunshine and yard and garden projects. Unfortunately, more outdoor work can also mean damage to underground utility lines.

April is National Safe Digging Month, and NW Natural reminds anyone who plans to dig to call 811 to have underground utilities located first.

Reaching utility notification centers in Oregon and Washington is simple and free. Two days before the start of a project, call 811, register online or use NW Natural’s new safety app to have underground lines marked. Read more at www.nwnatural.com or http://digsafelyoregon.com.

Always report line damages — no matter how small — even a nick or gouge could affect a pipeline. If a natural gas line is accidentally hit and there’s a smell of rotten eggs or the sound of gas escaping, be sure to leave the area immediately and then call NW Natural's 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Enjoy the sunshine and spring flowers, and remember to call 811.

Linda Kennedy

Coos Bay

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