The Alamo Plaza Shopping Center was evacuated Wednesday morning as a precautionary response to a gas leak at the mall.
According to an official with the San Ramon Valley Fire Department, at around 10:30 a.m., the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) reported that one of its crews at cut a 1.5-inch gas line on Danville Boulevard.
PG&E said a third party contractor had hit a gas line with a backhoe and EBMUD confirmed that its crew was the third party crew.
The EBMUD crew was in the area repairing a broken water main that was called in at 7 a.m. when its equipment hit the gas main, according to Charles Hardy, a spokesperson for EBMUD.
Hardy told KTVU that the marking on the pavement showing where the water main was supposed to be located was innaccurate.
All residents on Alamo Square Drive were ordered to evacuate immediately and go as far south on that street as possible, according to the Contra Costa County sheriff's office.
Residents are advised to turn off all heat sources in their homes, lock all doors and windows, and take with them only essential items that can be carried. All pets must be on a carrier or a leash.
There was some confusion with the alert. An alert message was sent to everyone in the county, but the evacuations only applied to those near the gas leak in Alamo, officials said.
The California Highway Patrol was advising motorists to avoid an area of Alamo where the gas leak was reported Wednesday morning.
The leak was affecting an area along Danville Boulevard between Stone Valley Road and Jackson Way, according to a CHP Twitter message.
Gas was expected to be shutdown at around 1:30 p.m. at the earliest, according to a PG&E spokesperson.
PG&E crews were able to stop the leak around 3:30 p.m., utility spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said.
As 3:40 p.m., residents of the evacuated areas were being allowed to return home and businesses reopened, San Ramon Valley Fire spokeswoman Kimberly French said.
Most roads had reopened by then, except for Danville Boulevard between Stone Valley and Las Trampas roads, French said.
It took crews several hours of digging and jackhammering to be able to make the needed repairs, Sarkissian said.
Because of the water main break issues, EBMUD reported that 40 customers were without water that morning as well.
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