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Colorado CUs' Flood Recovery Underway
BOULDER, Colo. (9/18/13)--Boulder, Colo.-area credit unions have for the most part been fully operational since Saturday in the wake of massive flooding, but recovery will be ongoing, representatives from credit unions told News Now Tuesday.
Some roads in Boulders remain closed; others are "literally washed out," Dennis Paul, assistant vice president for business and community development at Elevations CU, Boulder, told News Now. "But those numbers are decreasing every day," he added. "The intersections and roads are getting cleaned up. The ones that we can't open are going to take some time."
Elevations CU has also been at "100% capacity" since Saturday, but with one in four Boulder  households suffering damages, the credit union was receiving about 15 to 20 calls per hour for assistance on Tuesday, Paul said.
"The damage to individual households is even much higher than we anticipated," Paul said.
The credit union has established a $100,000 community challenge grant. Elevations will match each dollar donated by the community up to $100,000 to assist victims of the flooding.
"All funds will be specifically earmarked for victims and families displaced from the flood," Paul said.
The credit union has also instituted a resource team to work with members affected by the flood. "We'll work with members on everything from late payments to overdraft charges to loan payment deferrals and extending credit," Paul said.
Premier Members FCU, Boulder, opened all branches and its contact center on schedule Saturday after closing six branches on Thursday and three on Friday, but the credit union continues to hear from members, Andrea Balazs, community relations specialist at Premier Members FCU, told News Now. The homes of employees sustained damages.
"We have hundreds of members that were impacted in the Longmont and Boulder areas that were affected," said Balazs. The credit union is collecting donations for United Way to help victims and is assisting members with additional services.
"We are tracking where the requests are coming from," Balazs said. "We are looking at them on a case-by-case basis and trying to expedite them."
Premier is offering loans for repairs and skip-a-payment and waiving fees on early withdrawals from certificates of deposit. The credit union also waived $5,000 in fees on Visa gift cards.
Several Premier FCU employees were evacuated from their homes, Balazs said. "That was one of the reasons we weren't able to operate," she added. The homes of two employees were either destroyed or sustained extensive damage.
Boulder Valley CU, Boulder, re-opened all five of its branches Saturday after closing three on Thursday and two on Friday.
One Boulder Valley CU employee's basement was flooded, another's apartment was flooded and two employees were evacuated from their homes but have since been allowed to return, said Rick Allen, Boulder Valley president/CEO. "All told, we were lucky," Allen said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the credit union had heard from three members who needed assistance, Allen said. "I know there is a lot more damage up in the mountains," Allen said. "I'm sure there will be issues there. Our members know we are always here to assist them."

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