MOTHER NATURE AND 811

There you are, cruising along, ready for the school year to come to an end – when Mother Nature suddenly steps in with a body slam.

Armour, South Dakota schools were closed today due to early morning storm damage.   You can read the developing story here: http://www.kdlt.com/2017/05/15/school-called-off-armour-due-storm-damage/

You might be thinking, what does that have to do with South Dakota 811?

Plenty!

Let’s take a page from the official South Dakota 811 Operations Manual for Facility Operators and Excavators.  (You can download the entire document in PDF right here: http://www.sdonecall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Operations-Manual-2017.pdf)

What we’re interested in is the section on emergency tickets:

Emergency Requests (Ticket Type – Emergency)

LOCATORS ARE TO MARK WITHIN 2 HOURS OF NOTIFICATION DURING THE DAY OR WITHIN 4 HOURS AFTER HOURS & WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS. DO NOT DIG BEFORE THE START TIME AND DATE ON THE TICKET.

An emergency is defined by South Dakota Law Chapter 49-7A-1(2), as “An occurrence which demands immediate action to prevent significant environmental damage or loss of life, health, property, or essential public services including the re-erecting of critically needed traffic control signs or devices.”

Examples of emergencies are as follows:

  1. An unforeseen excavation necessary in order to prevent a condition that poses a clear and immediate danger to life or health.
  2. An excavation required to repair a utility service outage
  3. An excavation required in order to prevent significant property damage.
  4. The repair of an existing unstable condition which may result in any of the conditions listed above (for example, a leak in any service or main or a fault in a primary or secondary wire or cable).

Severe weather can do more than uproot trees and take the roofs off of buildings.  It can also pull pipelines and cables up out of the ground, posing an immediate threat to anyone in the area.

That’s the reason for the emergency ticket request.

An emergency is NOT trying to dig a hole for a swimming pool before the weekend is out.

So remember – when bad weather calls in South Dakota, call on South Dakota 811 for that emergency ticket.

Until next week, safe digging!

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