A powerful thunderstorm and cloudburst hit Cootamundra at 1.50pm on Friday, cutting power to 4500 customers for half an hour.
The main street was awash, with pedestrians splashing shin deep to cross from footpath to footpath.
However the rain was short-lived, with the worst of the storm over within 20 minutes.
An Essential Energy linesman said a lightning bolt hit the main power line between Harden and Cootamundra.
Power was restored by "backfeeding" Cootamundra from Bethungra, but the linesman said "If that goes out too, we're in for a long interruption".
The blackout lived up to its name. Businesses and residences were plunged into darkness, with black clouds limiting daylight from outside.
At the corner of Bourke and Thompson Streets, in Albert Park, the rain caused short circuiting in a power box about two-and-a-half metres up a pole.
Sparking, hissing and smoke were noticed by a nearby resident, who called the fire brigade and Essential Energy.
The resident apparently opened the lid to the box with a fallen branch, a tactic not recommended.
Fire crews stood by until a cherry picker arrived to enable power to the fizzing box to be disconnected.