CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Banging and scraping sounds pour like music from subdivisions all around the Capitol area these days. The shrill notes leaking through the open windows of Linda Marcus's home in Central's Tanglewood Subdivision make up one of the few happy tunes since the August flood.
It's the sound of progress.
"They've come in like avenging angles," said Marcus about the 'musicians' hitting those notes. "They've gotten permits. They've jumped through hoops for us."
Those musicians are the Good Samaritans of the St. Bernard Project (SBP). The current volunteers are half a dozen volunteer office workers from the Farmer's Insurance home office in Los Angeles. They've traded pushing papers for pounding laminate flooring until the grooves lock.
"We've got manicured nails. We sit at our desks. This is good for us," said Doris Dunn, director of Community Relations for Farmer's.
It's Farmer's first day on the current job site. SBP has been on the ground gutting homes since right after the flood. It has been rebuilding Marcus's home since Labor Day, but it has been helping homeowners get back home since Hurricane Katrina.
SBP was formed in March 2006 to help rebuild neighborhoods in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. Since then, it has helped restore homes after the 2011 tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, and now in south Louisiana after the flooding and on the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
"We know there is a huge, huge need, and our employees are going to be here helping where we can."
For Marcus, that help came at the exact right time.
"We decided we would never get back in our home. We didn't know what we would do."
She and her disabled husband can no longer do this kind of work, and in the 40 years they have lived in their home, they have never needed flood insurance. "They gave us hope."
SBP will finish Marcus's home by mid-November, but it is looking for more homeowners to help. To apply for assistance, visit the project's website. For more information, call (225) 478-1499.