Contractor Hits Unmarked Power Line

Joe and Judy Kaminski of Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, hired a professional landscape contractor to plant trees in their yard to replace trees that died during recent storms. They felt comfortable knowing that the contractor, as required by state law, would make sure the underground utility lines in their yard were properly marked so they wouldn’t be hit during the digging.

But just a few minutes into the work, sparks flew from the hole and the power in their home went haywire. The lights flickered in the Kaminski’s home and a light bulb and socket blew clean out of the recessed lighting in their bathroom.

Their contractor, Greentree Nurseries, had hit an electric line that hadn’t been marked by their local power company, PPL. The lines were marked in the back yard, but not in the front. Fortunately, no injuries were reported but the homeowners were distressed that the line was unmarked.

“I’m so angry. Somebody could have been electrocuted,” said Judy Kaminski. PPL issued a letter of apology to the homeowners, writing that their line-marking contractor, USIC Locating Services of Indianapolis, had made an error by failing to mark the line.