Russell was virtually a ghost town yesterday as lines company Top Energy turned off the power for six hours to replace a transformer supplying the town's commercial centre.
The planned outage from 8.30am affected 71 customers on The Strand, Cass St, York St, Chapel St and Church St, with power restored around 3pm.
Top Energy's networks manager, Keith Gilby, said increasing load in the area meant the transformer had to be upgraded to a larger model.
Customers had a week's notice and were consulted about the most suitable day, he said.
Some businesses, including the bank, shut shop for the day, while others pooled together by sharing generator power and gas cookers. The Wharf restaurant, on the corner of The Strand and Cass St, was running a generator to keep the lights, till and coffee machine operating.
Manager Graham Priest said workers had been coming in to use the restaurant's gas hobs to make coffee; in a gesture of community spirit, he had also hooked a pump up to the generator to keep the block supplied with water.
Without power the taps would run dry at the booking office and eateries along Cass St, as well as the upstairs flat.
The grocery stores and the Duke of Marlborough were still open but it was a quiet day in Russell, Mr Priest said.
"There's the odd local and the odd tourist roaming around, but they look like they got here by accident," he said.