Gov. Mike Beebe is encouraging Arkansans to check before any digging projects to make sure they don't hit underground utilities they may be unaware of.
Beebe spoke Thursday before issuing a proclamation noting that April is National Safe Digging Month. Speakers at the event encouraged would-be diggers to call 811 before starting any project to find out whether any utilities are buried in the area.
"The irony is it is one year since the pipeline burst at Mayflower," Beebe said. "While that wasn't caused by digging, it illustrates I think the issue of there's a bunch of stuff underground. So when you have something that can be prevented, such as checking before you dig, it's always a good thing to do that."
Colette D. Honorable, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, said her "first priority" is pipeline safety, calling the 811 number a "vitally important program aimed at protecting our underground utility infrastructure and ultimately saving lives."