Minnesota utility lines stressed due to quarantine

Officials are urging Minnesotans to call before they dig this spring, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Internet and cable companies are asking homeowners to make a call to 811 before digging into yard projects, especially important this year because of COVID-19.

Digital services enable distant learning, work from home duties, cable and streaming services, all things that help people cope with being stationed at home.

“Can you imagine being the person who decides to do a weekend landscape project during this stay at home order and then you hit the fiber optic cable that provides the internet to your entire neighborhood?,” said Jean Edhlund, a consultant at CTC, a telecommunications cooperative in Brainerd.

According to CTC, a cut fiber optic line could cost the person responsible as much as $1,000 to repair.

Homeowners and contractors, should make the call two business days before any project begins, large or small.

The free service will locate all underground lines, including electric, gas, fiber optic and water lines.

Make requests by calling 811 or go through gopherstateonecall.org