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Cleanup underway after Monday storms in Louisiana; power companies work to restore electricity

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NEW ORLEANS — Cleanup was underway and power companies continued to restore electricity to homes and businesses across southeast Louisiana on Tuesday in the aftermath of severe weather.

After Monday's storms, about 81,400 homes and businesses remained without power late Tuesday morning, according to power company websites. About 78,500 were customers of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans.

Entergy said customers in the worst-hit areas should be prepared for outages of up to 48 and even 72 hours.

High winds downed trees and utility poles as the weather system moved across southeast Louisiana.

Trees damaged homes from Lake Charles to New Orleans, but state officials say no one was hurt in the storms.

Union Pacific Railroad continued its cleanup of five rail cars carrying 10 freight containers that were blown off the Huey P. Long Bridge.

PHOTO: Meljen Portillo climbs over debris as he retrieves tools from the house he was working on when it collapsed around him Monday, April 27, 2015, in New Orleans. High winds blew rail cars off the Huey P. Long Bridge and nearly 250,000 homes and businesses lost power Monday morning as a line of severe thunderstorms moved across southeast Louisiana. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Meljen Portillo climbs over debris as he retrieves tools from the house he was working on when it collapsed around him Monday, April 27, 2015, in New Orleans. High winds blew rail cars off the Huey P. Long Bridge and nearly 250,000 homes and businesses lost power Monday morning as a line of severe thunderstorms moved across southeast Louisiana. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Officials said the east and westbound rails across the bridge were inspected, and the line reopened at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In Kenner, a tornado touched down at 10:23 a.m. Monday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Gavin Phillips said.

A survey crew estimated the tornados winds at 90 miles, he said. It traveled nearly half a mile on the ground and was 50 yards wide.

"The tornado lifted the roof off of the back of a porch on Tulane Drive and uprooted a hard wood tree in front of a house on West Loyola," Phillips said.

He said the most significant damage from the storm was at Loyola and West Esplanade, where multiple wooden power poles and a few trees were snapped.

Rain totals varied from one-to-two to three-to-four in isolated areas, Phillips said.

Additional rain was expected Tuesday, but nothing like Monday's downpour, he added.

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