Ridgefield’s Jesse Lee Church commits to offering public charging, cooling and water when power is out
“Come in. Cool Off. Charge up,” said a graphic Jesse Lee Methodist Church posted on its Facebook Page during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias.
When another big storm hits, and folks are out of power and need charging and water and a place to cool down or warm up, Jesse Lee Church plans to be part of the solution, opening to the public as soon as the church campus, on Main Street near the center of town, has electrical power itself.
The church has announced a commitment to continuing in future storms the services it offered Ridgefielders in the days following Tropical Storm Isaias, when both Jesse Lee and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, also near the center of town, shared the benefits of their electrical service with the public.
“On Monday, August 10, 2020, Dick Aarons, Ridgefield’s Deputy Emergency Manager, reached out to churches in town asking them to open cooling stations for those who were still without power six days after Isaias ripped through town,” said Jesse Lee’s Heidi Yeranossian. “The electricity at Jesse Lee Church had been restored so we opened our doors to weary Ridgefielders who needed a place to cool off, charge their phones, and fill their water jugs.
“We posted information about the cooling station on our Facebook page, and many people put on their face masks and stopped in to enjoy some much needed air conditioning, get water, and charge their electronic devices. Stations were set up in the Carriage House on the Jesse Lee Church campus so people could easily maintain safe social distance while they recharged in the air-conditioned space...
“Sadly, with no power, and no Internet, a lot of people didn't realize they had this resource available,” Yeranossian said. “So we decided that, in the future, we will continue to open space on our campus to help folks who have lost power after storms from now on.”
The Rev. Bill Pfohl, Jesse Lee’s senior pastor, said the church will put signs out on the street letting people know when it’s open after storms.
“We were happy to help people who had suffered without power for days after Isaias downed trees and power lines all over town,” Pfohl said. “We want to let people know that the next time the lights go out due to a storm, we will post signs on Main Street and King Lane to let Ridgefielders know our recharging station at the Carriage House at 21 King Lane is open and welcoming people who need power.”