A large gas leak stripped power from hundreds of homes and businesses in north Fresno on Friday.
A gas main was ruptured early Friday on Shaw Avenue, shutting down the roadway and leading to the evacuations of more than 300 businesses and homes from First Street to Sixth Street.
The closures lead to major traffic delays around the area with an expected time of reopening not until late Friday or Saturday morning.
Officials say unauthorized digging by Atazz Techincial Services led to the leak while they were doing underground work for AT&T. The contractor did not have a valid digging permit so it will be liable to pay for the cost of clean-up.
Technicians have been going to door to door to all of the areas affected and doing safety inspections. Once those buildings are clear power will be restored.
Officials say risks in the area have been minimized, however motorists are advised to avoid the area.