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Forum staff reports, Published January 04 2011

Local utilities urge caution during snow removal

FARGO – Local communication and electric utilities are urging caution when residents and businesses remove snow.

Utility boxes can quickly become buried due to the piling and drifting of snow left during the weekend's two blizzards, according to a news release. In these cases, the utility boxes aren't visible to those doing snow removal and have the potential of being hit by snow removal operators.

Damage to utility boxes can cause severe communications and electric power outages, and is potentially dangerous to those that might come into contact with the damaged equipment, the release stated.

Utilities are asking property owners to keep utility boxes marked or clear of snow. Snow removal operators are urged to find out where utility boxes are located before moving snow by contacting area utilities for assistance.

Following is the contact information for area utilities:

- Cable One: (701) 280-0033

- Cass County Electric Cooperative: (701) 356-4470

- IdeaOne Telecom: (701) 356-6000

- Midcontinent Communications: (800) 888-1300

- Qwest: To locate utility boxes call ND ONE CALL (800) 795-0555

- MN Gopher State One Call (800) 252-1166

- Xcel Energy: (701) 241-8633