Irene Got You Down? Edith Can Help

Townspeople who lost power from Tropical Storm Irene have been flocking to Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, which will be open Labor Day weekend.

As the whistling winds of Tropical Storm Irene descended upon their neighborhood Sunday morning, Douglas Fink and his family decided to sleep downstairs at their Far Horizon Drive home.

"We were concerned a tree would fall on the house," Fink recalled. "Then the fan and all of the lights went out. Everyone on the block kind of heard the transformer blow."

A tree had been knocked into the telephone pole on Fink's street. His office in Brewster, NY, had also lost power, so the software quality assurance employee has been working on his laptop at a table inside Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, 733 Monroe Turnpike.

Late Friday afternoon, Fink's phone charged in one of the mounted lamp's outlets, while he got his work done.

"Pretty much every day I've been plugging in my cell phone and laptop," Fink said. "I'm glad they set it up, definitely."

Ever since the storm hit the area, Margaret Borchers, director of Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, has noticed an uptick in activity there.

"People are using the wireless service like crazy," she said. "They're using our library computers. We have 26 computers and they're packed."

Borchers said she has bought power stips and set up charging stations inside the library, where people have been recharging the batteries of their phones and laptops.

The library has expanded its hours due to massive power outages caused by the storm. At it's peak, about 93 percent of Monroe was without power, according to CL&P's outage map.

Today the library is open until 8 p.m. Then it is open from 10 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Borchers said the library has been showing movies in the Ehlers Community Room. Tonight, Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, will play from 6 to 8. On Monday, there will be a showing of Unstoppable at 2 p.m.

Inside the Children's Library downstairs, Michelle of Greenwood Lane, who asked that her last name not be used, sat at a charging station waiting for her phone to recharge. Her family has been without power since Sunday morning.

"I came when they first opened on Wednesday," Michelle said. "It was by accident. I happened to be nearby. I stopped in and saw the extended hours and the charging stations."

"I've been using the Masuk facility for showering and this to keep my kids entertained — and for charging my phone," she added.

Kay Inderdohnen, an aide in the children's library, said the computers were all taken yesterday while other children eagerly awaited their turns.

"We're glad we have extra hours to help people out when they need computers and other services," said Inderdohnen, who is still without power at her home.

Nancy Zorena September 03, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Edith Wheeler Memorial Library has been very busy all week. I know I was there using the computer and charging my phone too. Thanks to the wonderful staff and the Library Board for making so many accomodations and extending the hours during the Labor Day weekend.
Carl Kolchak September 03, 2011 at 07:11 PM
The library was a real life-saver for me and my kids this week. Thanks to all the EWML staff who kept their cool when others were so stressed out.
dee dee martin September 03, 2011 at 08:42 PM
I agree Nancy, the staff has been amazing.
Dan Keene September 04, 2011 at 12:08 AM
This is one of those articles that just makes you proud to have such a fantastic organization in Monroe. The library is definitely one of our best assets!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »