By CAROLINE MURRAY
An issue with a National Grid transmission line left more than 20,000 customers in Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady and Saratoga counties in the dark Tuesday evening.
Amsterdam Police Chief Gregory Culick was meeting with officials today to find out what sparked the blackout, he said.
National Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd said the power went out at exactly 6:58 p.m. and was restored by 7:38 p.m. However, some areas of Amsterdam experienced low voltage until 10:30 p.m.
Ladd said National Grid was still investigating the situation this morning. Phone calls made to National Grid today were not returned.
Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeffery T. Smith was in contact with National Grid several times until full power was restored.
He said he kept in contact with the Amsterdam Police Department, in case he needed to open up shelters for families left in the dark.
The police department reported no shelter inquiries that evening, he added.
Smith said all fire departments in the affected areas were on standby for phone calls from troubled residents. He said if anyone was experiencing any difficulty, they were instructed to contact their local department.
Amsterdam's Common Council was in session during the power outage and at one point continued to carry out the business of the city by the light of cell phones and battery-powered lights.
Smith said police were directing traffic at several intersections until the power was fully restored.
Amsterdam Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael DePasquale said the lower half of Fulton County and eastern half of Montgomery County were without power. DePasquale said there were some pockets in the city that had power and cell towers were down as well.
"We have power outages like this, but it hasn't happened in a while," DePasquale said.
Ladd reported that in total, 20,503 of National Grid's customers in the four counties were affected by the outage.