A massive power outage hit parts of Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday evening leaving many of those still at work or scrambling to get home  joking that it might have been caused by the fiscal cliff, or the long-awaited apocalypse.

While the real cause of the outage is still under investigation, an NStar representative confirmed large portions of Cambridge were left in the dark.

Shortly after the power first went out, around 5 p.m., roughly 17,000 NStar Cambridge customers were reportedly affected.

Power was restored several hours later, just before 7 p.m.,  according to Cambridge Police.

Police said “a major transmission line failure” could have been to blame for the power outage.

As soon as it went dark in Cambridge, Twitter lit up with quirky tweets from workers and commuters complaining that they lost lights and that street signals were not working.

Cambridge City Councillor Tim Toomey urged people to take alternative routes home Thursday to try and avoid the areas impacted—but his advice came too late as people snapped pictures of snarled traffic in various neighborhoods.

“Kendall Square is totally in the dark,” Steve Maxwell told BostInno on Twitter, when the lights first went out.

One Twitter user reported that power was out in several buildings on Vassar Street in Cambridge and Memorial Drive, as well.  Power was also reportedly out in parts of Harvard Square, both at businesses and the University itself.

MIT News reported on Twitter that they, too, were experiencing power outages on campus at the time of the incident.

Kara Oberg, who works in Cambridge, told BostInno power was down on Sidney Street and in Central Square.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/area_four/status/274280142635929601″]

Shortly after people started reporting the blackout, the MBTA announced that there were train delays due to a power signal problem along the Red Line at Central Square Station caused by the outage.

BostInno reached out to both the utility companies and Cambridge city officials to find out what caused the power outages in the major parts of the city across the Charles River. We will keep you updated as this story develops.

Below are photos from Twitter and Instagram users who snapped images of the scene in Cambridge. There is a Storify below the slideshow as well.

Above photo courtesy of @meladorri