Louisiana woman feeds Arkansas linemen for a month after Hurricane Ida blasted the coast

State News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — All month long, storm victims from Hurricane Ida have relied on workers from Arkansas to get them through, but sometimes help goes both ways.

A group of around 70 linemen from Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have been in Houma, Louisiana for 24 days working to restore power.

“Just destruction– looks like a bomb went off,” said Mike Matty, a lineman with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “There is tons of transformers and power lines to still be put up.”

Matty says the days following the storm have been long. He’s worked as a lineman for the last 25 years and says this cleanup is different due to the hospitality shown to his crew.

Since the first night they arrived in Louisiana, a good Samaritan has made sure they had a warm meal everyday.

“She started feeding us and we were just ecstatic with the food,” said Matty.

Jessica Bergeron who is dealing with storm damage to her own home, says she wanted to find a way to give back to people helping her state recover.

“If we can’t do anything, we are going to feed you. That’s the minimum we can do,” said Jessica Bergeron.

Every night since the crew arrived, Bergeron has made sure the linemen from Arkansas working near her home had a warm meal.

“The first night we went with food– they were like this is for us? Do we pay you? And I was like no no no,” laughed Bergeron. “They are just such great kind guys– we call them our power ranger brothers.”

Matty says he was shocked to see the kindness shown to his crew by Louisianans who experienced loss in the storm.

“She’s got a leak in her roof and she’s worried about water damage in her house, but she still makes the time to feed us,” said Matty.

Bergeron has made brisket, chicken, pork, and Jambalaya for the linemen.

“It was just something in my heart that I had to do for them,” she said.

It’s an act of kindness that Matty says he will never forget.

“We can’t thank her enough– we are going to miss her and I want to take her on every storm going forward,” said Matty.

Matty says the crew from Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas is set to come home by the first of October.

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