THERE were no cash registers chiming, no ATMs buzzing, the doors were closed, and even the morning coffee run was disrupted for thousands when the power went down.
Banks were some of the first businesses to shut up shop, with tellers a no go zone and ATMs down.
Westpac and the Community Mutual had the doors closed, while the power outage delayed the Commonwealth Bank’s opening for 35 minutes.
“We don’t open until 9.30am anyway, so we just delayed our opening,” branch manager Glenn Smallwood said.
“The ATMs were the first to come back up and there was a bit of a rush, but the customers were very understanding.”
Cafe Latte used gas to keep cooking as well as make a cup of tea, but the morning staple was out of the question according to employee Mark Willingham.
“So we can’t provide everyone with their morning coffee ... we’ve still got some stuff we can do,” Mr Willingham said.
“We don’t have instant coffee so we can’t serve any coffee.
“This is the worst time ... because of the morning rush.”
The outage sent most people into the street with rumours the power would be off until 3pm or even as late as 5pm.
Others said they would be lucky if it was back on by 12.30pm.
Instead of window shopping, most customers, and even a few shopkeepers, were just waiting and watching – no one really knowing what to do except play the waiting game.
The Inland Cafe was one of a few coffee shops open, boiling water on a gas stove and making instant coffee for customers.
Customers weren’t able to pay though, with employees making notes for them to pay later.
Cafe Vivaldi and Trinity’s Coffee Lounge could only serve cold drinks.
“I sent employees out to get bags of ice because we were told it could be a few hours,” Trinity’s owner Enid Davenport said.
“We had to turn people away for breakfast.
“We would have been really busy but we’ve had no one.”
Shaun and Karen from MVP Sports and Leisure just stood out the front and watched the gossip mill hit overdrive.
“For legal reasons we have to close,” Shaun said when The Leader came past.
“It’s too dark inside and if someone falls over on your property then they can sue us.
“We’ll just have to wait until it comes back on before we can open again.”
Centrepoint Shopping Centre closed as soon as the power went out.
“We shut as soon as we could ascertain that we weren’t the cause of it, mainly for safety reasons,” operation and facilities manager Dion Godley said.
“The whole centre was black and none of the shops had power to be able to serve anyone.
“It would have had a big impact on business, but it’s something that you can’t do much about.”
Tamworth police were in luck with extra officers in town for a training course.
Sergeant Stephen Fuhrmann said they had all hands on deck for traffic control as traffic lights went into meltdown.
“We had as many people as we could get into cars,” he said.
“There was an extra 10 police officers here for training so we postponed that and sent them to various intersections to do points [to control traffic].”
Tamworth Nails and Beauty sent home six staff members and Boost Juice turned away a large number of customers.
“I had a customer when the power turned off and I couldn’t make the drink,” manager Sophie Maiden said.
“I thought one of the blenders might have caused it, but then when I realised everything was down I had to shut the doors.”
Town and Country Boutique kept its doors open.
“We had light from the front of the shop, but we couldn’t make any sales,” store person Louise Toohey said.
“We did have a lady saying she’d come back when the power came on.”
The power outage didn’t stop Werris Creek couple Sean and Stacey Hanigan from booking their Great Barrier Reef trip at Harvey World Travel yesterday.
“They could pay the deposit using a manual receipt book,” employee Kirsty Sayer said.