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95 of Louisiana CUs providing cash to members
HARAHAN, La. (9/8/08)--While Louisiana credit unions are mopping up after last Monday's Hurricane Gustav and keeping an eye out week for Hurricane Ike, their members are receiving service through branches, ATMs or shared branching. According to the Louisiana Credit Union League, 99% of the state's credit unions are providing cash to their members through branches, ATMs or the Louisiana Cooperative Branching Network. Roughly 182 credit unions were in the areas affected by Hurricane Gustav, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said Friday. Gustav made landfall Sept. 1 as a Category 2 hurricane. "There is a small number of credit unions operating from alternative locations," the league said Friday. "We are working to finalize that number." "The primary cause preventing reopening of all credit unions in the affected regions is extensive power outages across Louisiana, the league said. The outages are expected to last in many areas at least until today. "We have been able to put the lessons of the hurricanes of 2005 to work in 2008," said Anne Cochran, league president. The league "initiated our hurricane preparation plan immediately once Hurricane Gustav became a threat to the Louisiana coast. We made contact with each of our credit union members and activiated our TelSpan service to assist our credit unions and provide continuous updates." "Cooperative branching continued to prove its value to Louisiana credit unions and their members throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav," Cochran said. "While credit unions and tens of thousands of Louisiana residents were working to return home, they were able to utilize the features of cooperative branching to manage their finances and obtain needed cash, even if they were in a town hundreds of miles away from their neighborhood. It's another way for credit unions to serve their members through the best and worst of times," Cochran said. "As each day passes, more credit unions are opening and welcoming their members back to their hometowns. We believe that once the region sees power restored, all operations will return to normal," Cochran said, adding she expected that to happen early this week.
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