PEARL RIVER, La. — When 14 linemen from Tennessee came down to Louisiana to restore power, they didn't know they were also signing up for Nerf wars with a 7-year-old.
"He is literally waiting at the garage with his Nerf guns. They walk in the garage and it starts," Sommer Duhon laughed talking about her son's new friendship with the line workers.
She and her husband, Christopher, are housing 14 linemen in their Pearl River home.
Line workers are some of the most visible heroes in the wake of Hurricne Ida. We need them, but they also need us more than we realize.
Hotels rooms are few and far between and stores have been closed. That's made having a place to sleep or food to eat difficult to come by. Some linemen have shared that they have slept in their trucks.
"Someone made a comment about linemen not being fed or having no place to sleep at night so I commented, 'why doesn’t somebody start a group page?' God gave me a big push that day and said, 'you do it.' So I did not even knowing how to do it," Sheila Caruso Person said.
Caruso Person from Lafayette created a Facebook page called "Feed Linemen - Tell us where you are so we can bring you food and water."
In just a week, the page has grown to 25,000 members. Many line workers family members share what their loved ones need.
"They're basically like, 'my husband hasn’t eaten or hasn’t had his clothes washed, or showered," the Duhon's said. "People are like, 'I have 50 lunches made, drop your pin, let us come meet you.'"
Louisiana stepped up.
"It brings me to tears sometimes, touches my heart, but that’s what people in Louisiana do," Caruso Person said.
The Duhons get it. They needed a place to stay when they lost their Chalmette home in Katrina. Christopher works in the telecommunications business and has worked on lines before.
"I know what they go through," he said.
When Sommer found the "Feed Linemen" page she posted, 'I am located in Pearl River, LA. Any linemen that need shower or clothes washed or anything else please send me a message!!!"
They did. 14 linemen later, she has a house full. Neighbors are helping too by donating food, laundry detergent, socks, and Wednesday night the linemen received a Louisiana thank you when a Jeep club threw them a parade after work.
"They gave the guys beers, they had beads," Sommer Duhon said.
They opened up their home to help those here to help us.