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CUs in N. Carolina Virginia assess tornado damages
MADISON, Wis. (4/19/11)--Credit unions in North Carolina and Virginia appear to have escaped major damage from the weekend’s tornadoes, but the members they serve were almost certainly affected. Calling the path of destruction and death from Saturday’s tornadoes in North Carolina “horrible,” Raleigh-based State Employees' CU (SECU) CEO Jim Blaine said he felt lucky his credit union emerged from the storm system with relative minor damage. Blaine said one branch roof was damaged, forcing the branch to close temporarily, and eight ATMs were inoperable, but otherwise the credit union was at full service throughout the state on Monday. “They say we all know each other here in North Carolina, so I’m sure we have employees who know or are related to people who were affected, but I’ve heard no direct stories as of yet,” Blaine said. “Given the number of tornadoes that tore through state, we’re lucky to have gotten through it with the amount of damage that we experienced.” One tornado touched down a half mile from new offices of the North Carolina Credit Union League, which had relocated earlier in the week, but the league reported no damages. Virginia Credit Union League Rick Pillow said no credit unions in that state reported damage, and league members were awaiting further reports to determine if victims were in need of special services. North Carolina Credit Union League President John Radebaugh said that no other state credit unions had reported damages to the league or indicated special services were needed as of late Monday. In North Carolina, the last reported death toll from the storms was 21, with at least 130 more injured. Half of the North Carolina fatalities were in Bertie County, a rural county about 120 miles northeast of Raleigh that has just 21,000 residents. Preliminary reports indicate about 500 homes destroyed and more than 1,000 damaged. Officials say that more than 1,000 families will be homeless in the state, according the American Red Cross. Red Cross workers sheltered more than 500 people over the weekend. Five tornadoes touched down in Virginia, causing major damage, according to the National Weather Service (TBD.com April 18). Preliminary reports indicate that 332 structures were damaged, 35 destroyed, and 122 severely damaged. Five people in Virginia were reported killed as a result of the storms. For information related to other states, see related story in System News, "CUNA Mutual, other states report on damages to CUs."
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