The Turlock Fire Department was kept busy Wednesday afternoon with three verified natural gas leaks around town.
All the leaks were caused by someone digging in the wrong area, said Turlock Fire Department spokesman Capt. Kevin Tidwell.
All the leaks have been mitigated by Pacific Gas and Electric.
The first leak was reported shortly before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at a construction site in the 3100 block of Hotel Drive. A backhoe accidentally damaged a gas line at the future site of Dos Coyotes and Pizza Rev.
The wind was blowing in from the north, so the fire department ordered evacuations of the businesses to the south of the site, including Panera Bread and Red Robin.
Hotel Drive, a portion of Monte Vista Avenue, and the off-ramp from Highway 99 were all briefly closed while PG&E crews stopped the leak.
As the fire department was dealing with that leak, a report came in of a leak in the 4000 block of Medeiros Road. The leak was caused from damage done to a pipe while digging, Tidwell said.
Crews were able to stop that leaky quickly, which was a good thing because a third report of a natural gas leak had just come in.
The third gas leak was reported in the 900 block of N. Palm Street. It was caused when a backhoe struck a pipe while doing work at the site of the old police department, now owned by the Turlock Irrigation District.
The leak prompted the closure of Palm between Starr and Canal. Crews were able to stop the leak.
The Turlock Fire Department reminds people to call 811 a few days before starting any digging project to make sure no gas lines will be damaged.