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Louisiana
CenterPoint Energy encourages increased safety awareness during National Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON - April 5, 2011 - CenterPoint Energy is partnering with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and Louisiana One Call to commemorate April as Safe Digging Month which is dedicated to increasing awareness of safe digging practices. Governor Bobby Jindal has proclaimed the month of April as Safe Digging Month in Louisiana.

Throughout the busy digging month of April, when the potential for underground utility damages increases, homeowners and contractors are reminded that one free call to 811 before digging can prevent injuries, property damage, service disruption and possibly costly fines for damaged infrastructure.

“Each year, more than 200,000 underground utility lines are struck in the United States and improper excavation practice is the root cause of 38 percent of the damages that are reported to the CGA” said Joe Berry, manager of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy. “It is important that everyone digs with C.A.R.E. Call 811 before your dig. Allow 48-hours for the utility lines to be marked. Respect the marks which means hand dig within 18-inches of the marks. Excavate carefully.”

The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. So, whether it’s a small project like planting trees or shrubs or hiring a professional for a special outdoor project, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.

Since the Call 811 campaign was created in 2008, there has been roughly 15 percent reduction in excavation damages. For more information, visit www.call811.com.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $20 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.