Local News

Louisiana Family Feeds Power Workers To Show Appreciation

Posted September 11, 2005

— As the sun sets in southeast Louisiana, weary North Carolina power workers roll into their base camp dubbed "Camp Katrina" at the Amite National Guard Armory in Amite, La.

They sleep in tents set up in a field and wash up in makeshift showers set up outside their tents.

But there is one bright spot at the end of a 16-hour day -- authentic Cajun cooking made by a local family that is struggling to recover from the hurricane.

"We have a large family, so we're used to cooking for a whole bunch of people," says Kathy Faust, a victim of the hurricane.

On this particular night, a "whole bunch of people" means 200 workers from Duke Power.

"There's a whole family who came into cook for us tonight, a lot of hospitality," says Kevin White, a Duke Power truck driver.

An older man with a long white beard hawks the jambalaya and even manages to get smiles from the tired workers as he tells them it might have alligator in it.

Whatever it is made with, the crews say it's the best meal they have had in a long time.

"They got our power on and we just thought it would be a nice Louisiana generosity to show there is good," Faust says.

While the food is good, it's what's behind the food that makes the power workers smile so big -- the appreciation for their hard work.

"There's a lot of love out there, you can feel it," says Avery Cokerl, a Duke Power lineman. "These people (have) been through a lot. Your heart goes out to them and they give it back out to you."

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