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Blizzard closes CUNA-Madison CUs across U.S.
MADISON, Wis. (2/3/11)--While credit unions in the Midwest, Plains and Southern states dug themselves out Wednesday from Tuesday night's blizzard, credit unions in the Northeast were just starting to receive the effects of the 2,100-mile storm. The blizzard--now dubbed the biggest in decades--closed leagues and credit unions across the nation Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. It also closed the Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Tuesday afternoon. The offices remained closed Wednesday after blizzard conditions dumped about 16 inches to two feet of snow during the night in the area. CUNA's offices are open today. The Wisconsin Credit Union League also was closed Wednesday, announced President/CEO Brett Thompson in a message to credit union president/CEOs. It's Madison and Pewaukee offices shut down Wednesday but expected to reopen today. Corporate Central CU delayed opening until noon Wednesday and cautioned it would evaluate conditions as the morning progressed. Even Jimmy the Groundhog, the Sun Prairie, Wis.-based equivalent of Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, knew better than to venture out. He stayed underground after his weather prognosis ceremony was canceled due to weather. Later, his owner said Jimmy was coaxed out and didn't see his shadow, predicting an early spring "and a [Green Bay] Packers win in this Sunday's SuperBowl" (Madison.com Feb. 2). Phil also predicted spring. It's assumed he is rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's game. Travelers planning to attend the game are being advised to wait until later in the week to travel. Chicago, which received at least 20 inches of snow Wednesday morning in near white-out conditions, closed its public schools for the first time in 12 years (USA Today and NPR Feb. 2). Airports there canceled more 2,500 flights, and northern Illinois saw almost 80,000 people without power. The Illinois Credit Union System was closed, as was many Illinois-based credit unions. CEFCU, in Peoria, Ill., reported its branches shut down throughout Central Illinois. The Michigan Credit Union League was closed, although all staff worked remotely from home. The league said several credit unions reported closures. In Indiana, the league closed early Tuesday but staff worked remotely at home so they could provide credit unions with service needed. Purdue Employees FCU, in Lafayette, Ind., reported a weather closing as well. The Texas Credit Union League, which had closed Tuesday after an ice storm hit Dallas-Fort Worth, said Wednesday it would delay opening until 10 a.m. However, it left its options open, saying that if a later morning evaluation of the situation saw unsafe road conditions, then it would remain closed until today. The Missouri Credit Union Association's (MCUA) offices in St. Louis were delayed in opening until 10 a.m. Wednesday. However, the Kansas City and Jefferson City offices were closed Wednesday "due to the winter storm and snow accumulation," said Amy McLard, vice president of public/legislative affairs at MCUA. As the storm moved northeast Wednesday afternoon, reports of ice and downed lines were reported in Cranford, N.J. (weather.com Feb. 2). The New Jersey Credit Union League said that Wednesday night's Union/Morris Credit Union Chapter meeting was canceled; the chapter's next meeting is March 2 (The Daily Exchange Feb. 2). The Maine Credit Union League in Portland, Maine, which was open Wednesday, reported it was getting snow, with mostly sleet in Portland. Most credit unions in the southern half of Maine were closed Wednesday, said Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager. Agility Recovery Solutions, which provides business continuity services to credit unions in weather and other crisis situations, was providing its clients with a "Winter Weather Preparedness Checklist" to help clients identify the areas of their business most susceptible to winter hazards and to suggest ways to minimize damage. Agility is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.
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