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Thousands without power Friday night despite ruthless winter weather; Entergy blames equipment issues, damaged lines

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TANGIPAHOA PARISH - Thousands of customers were without power Friday night despite the ruthless winter weather hitting south Louisiana on Christmas weekend.

In Hammond, businesses along Railroad Avenue were pitch black and in the freezing cold as Entergy reported an equipment issue and damage at a substation.

Just outside the city limits, there's nothing but more darkness.

Tickfaw homeowners worked to fill up gas tanks for their generators, hoping to warm up their houses — many of which lost power around the same time.

"We got animals and kids, so it ain't like we can just leave home," homeowner Chuck Newman said.

Crews were seen in the area repairing power lines that Entergy officials say were torn down after a tree fell Thursday night.

"Didn't come back on until after 7 this morning. The lights went out last night, like five after 10," homeowner Sandra Jenkins said.

Hundreds of families woke up Friday morning to no lights, and more importantly, no heat.

"When we went to sleep, it wasn't cold. It was still warm in the house. When we woke up, it was freezing," Jenkins said.

At least a thousand customers didn't have their power restored until 3 p.m. Friday.

Now, Entergy is asking customers to conserve all the power they can with this message:

"Unusually high electricity use due to extreme temperatures may exceed available power supply. Please help by adjusting thermostats and turning off non-essential lights, electronics and large appliances to avoid periodic outages. We apologize for the inconvenience. https://entergy.com/conserve"

The message comes as many families prepare for another long night in the dark and the bone-chilling cold.

"Them little electric heaters only put out so much, and we have a big house. We're just going to have to bundle up and hope for the best, you know," Newman said.

Tangipahoa Parish officials say there is a warming center on standby. Residents can contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness or the sheriff's office for help.

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