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CUs continue to recover from Sandy
WASHINGTON (11/7/12)--As of early afternoon Tuesday, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) listed 44 credit unions, most of them in New Jersey, as closed or not operational as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

NCUA initially listed 118 credit unions closed or in pending status as a result of Sandy, according to a list posted by agency's website.

Other credit unions within Sandy's path are operating partially with branch closures, in temporary facilities, or with only ATM services, NCUA said.

"Our examiners along the East Coast are checking with their credit unions to provide support and assistance; our consumer experts are answering the many financial questions that members may have; and we're expediting consideration of credit union emergency grant applications. NCUA will continue to do what's needed to help," said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in a release.

New Jersey had by far the most credit unions closed, with about 90 credit unions closed, not operating or status pending on Friday, according to NCUA. About 90% of the state's 202 credit unions were operational as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Paul Gentile, president of the New Jersey Credit Union League.

"It's a matter of to what degree they are operating," Gentile said. Some may not have telecom, some may not have ATMs. Many still face challenges. This has been a great lesson in the cooperative power of credit unions and shared branching."

Residents of New Jersey still face gas shortages and power outages in many parts of the state, Gentile said.

"Things are not back to normal," Gentile said, "But we are definitely making progress."

New Jersey also has 66 shared branching outlets. As of Tuesday afternoon, 59 were operational, according to the league.

Several credit unions are offering extra office space for other credit unions:

  • Aspire FCU, Clark, N.J.;
  • Credit Union of New Jersey, Ewing, N.J.;
  • West Orange (N.J.) Municipal FCU; and
  • Visions FCU, Endwell, N.Y.
Residents and business owners in eight New Jersey counties that were severely affected by Superstorm Sandy can start applying for federal assistance on Thursday. The money was made available as part of a disaster declaration signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The Credit Union Association of New York also reported that the majority of credit unions on Long Island, in the metropolitan New York area and Westchester/Rockland are now operational to a point where members can access much-needed funds. Many of those credit unions are still facing a number of issues including unopened and/or not fully operational branches, many of which are functioning with reduced staff. In addition to persistent power outages in some areas, technology issues, such as no telephone, Internet or mobile services continue to impact operations at numerous credit unions. Other credit unions have been able to be open for their members thanks to generator power, the league said.

To review the list, use the link.
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