May 19, 2014

What's with those little yellow flags around Sandusky?

I've been seeing a number of little yellow flags on the boulevards all over the area. The flags are imprinted "Columbia Gas," and they appear to be marking the locations of buried gas lines. My question is: Why? What's Columbia Gas planning? If they're marking their gas lines for somebody else, what is somebody else up to? Kathryn on Washington Street

Chris Kozak, a Columbia Gas spokesman, provided the following response:

Thanks for the question and interest. Flags are placed to signify the location of natural gas lines as part of the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, OUPS, to ensure a homeowner, excavator or contractor digs safely.

Calling 811 at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days before the proposed project will ensure a safe work environment for all involved. Additionally: It's the law. The flags in question — along Central Avenue, West Adams Street, Lawrence and McDonough – are not directly related to a Columbia Gas project. We have seen some OUPS requests in this area related to utility pole replacements, water main breaks and other like work. However, there are no immediate projects along Central Avenue, West Adams Street, Lawrence or McDonough that has Columbia Gas marking the underground utilities in this area.

Later this summer, there are a handful of Columbia Gas projects slated for Sandusky, and we will work with the Sandusky Register as well as directly contact with impacted customers to share the details of these projects.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."