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CUs digging out in wake of storms
MADISON, Wis. (12/14/07)--As credit unions in the Northeast braced for a major winter storm Thursday, credit unions in the Midwest were digging out from Tuesday's ice and snow storms. Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri were hit hardest by ice storms Tuesday. The Oklahoma Credit Union League had just received its power and e-mail back Thursday, D.J. Morrow Ingram, league interim CEO, told News Now. The league is aware of three credit unions without power and about 25 that were affected by the ice storm. Two of six league stand-alone service centers were down during the storm, but are “up and running now,” Ingram said. Of the 15 league employees, only two had homes with power until late Wednesday. No damage has been reported to the league yet, but it is still monitoring the situation, she said. Four of Oklahoma Central CU’s nine branches were without power Monday, Rick Loyd, executive vice president of business development, told the Tulsa World (Dec. 11). About 80% of the credit union’s staff is without power, he noted. As of Thursday afternoon, two of the credit union’s branches were still closed, according to a recorded message on the credit union’s main phone line. In Missouri, nearly 160,000 homes and businesses were without power from downed power lines due to the ice storm, said the Missouri Credit Union Association (CourierNet Dec. 12). The central and southern sections of Missouri had been hit by a Dec. 9 storm, while the Dec. 11 storm targeted northern parts of the state. Northwest Missouri Regional CU in Maryville told MCUA it lost power to its main location and branch Tuesday. District One Highway CU, St. Joseph, was without power through Wednesday. A snowstorm in southern Wisconsin with icy road conditions closed the Credit Union National Association's Madison campus at 3 p.m. Tuesday. However, some staff stayed later or worked remotely from home. The area had accumulated 21 inches of snow since Dec. 2 (Wisconsin State Journal Dec. 12). The southern Milwaukee area was hard-hit with the snowstorm, Wisconsin Credit Union League director of communications Chris Olson reported to News Now. Among the credit unions closed early due to icy road conditions were Guardian CU, West Allis, which closed at 1:30; Enterprise CU, Elm Grove; and Wauwatosa CU, Menomonee Falls. Avestar CU, Waterloo, sent staff home early but kept a minimum number of staff to "hold down the fort." In Illinois, Will Willie, public relations specialist for the Illinois Credit Union System, told News Now that "in general, we fared a lot better than those in Oklahoma and Kansas." The league itself, which is in the northern part of the state near Chicago, "was unaffected. It was rainy and messy, but we stayed all day just above freezing, so the weather was almost a non-issue." The league had no reports from field staff in areas affected by icy weather.
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