Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

HAMMOND, La. -- Entergy Louisiana crews have restored power to most of the Tangipahoa Parish families who woke up in the cold with no electricity Tuesday morning.

According to the utility company, about 8,000 customers lost electricity in the Natalbany, Ponchatoula and Hammond area overnight.

Entergy said the cause of the outages was a combination of increased electric load on the system due to the extreme cold weather combined with high wind gusts. The wind blew tree limbs into electrical equipment and also caused conductors, or wires, to blow into each other, creating faults on power lines.

Jean Fotie from Berry Ridge Drive in Pontchatoula said the sub-freezing temperatures outside made for a cold morning inside without heat.

'Yesterday and today it's very cold,' said Fotie. 'It's a bad day to not have power at home.'

Fotie said the lights came back on, just as he was about to move his children to a friend's house across town.

'I was really worried with those two little ones, that's very cold to have them in the house, at this time, so I'm very relieved to know that they can stay home, they can play and they're not going to be cold.'

Power issues and the extreme winter weather forced the Tangipahoa School District to cancel classes at Hammond Eastside Elementary and Hammond High Magnet School.

School Superintendent Mark Kolwe said that Entergy notified the district that it was having difficulty supplying adequate power to the schools. By mid afternoon, utility crews were still working on the problem.

School officials are expected to decide whether Hammond High or Hammond Eastside will reopen later Tuesday evening. Loranger Elementary, Loranger Middle and Loranger High School will remain closed in Tangipahoa because of a problem with a boiler.

O.W. Dillon Elementary in Kentwood and Kentwood High School will also remain closed because of low water pressure.

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