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News Now

CU System
Rhode Island CUs help members post-flooding
WARWICK, R.I. (4/5/10)--Credit unions in Rhode Island are providing their members with flood damage assistance after heavy rainstorms on the East Coast caused flooding in the state and nearby areas. About 5,500 were without power in Rhode Island Thursday--with about half in Westerly, where waters submerged a substation. On Thursday, work crews in Rhode Island pumped roads clear of water, inspected bridges and began restoring power to affected neighborhoods, USA Today reported Friday. The National Credit Union Administration activated its disaster relief policy to help credit unions and their members affected by the flooding. (SEE RELATED STORY: “NCUA invokes disaster response for flood states.”) President Barack Obama declared an emergency in Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and West Virginia. “While the flooding has caused a great deal of damage to many homes and businesses in Rhode Island as well as causing major traffic disruptions, no credit unions have reported any damage or closings to the league,” said Rob Kimmett, senior vice president of marketing for the New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Credit Union Association. Rhode Island CU, which has a branch in Cranston--the hardest hit area--did not experience any damages from floods. “We were one of the lucky ones,” said Gina DePalo, vice president of branch administration and marketing. “We managed to dodge it.” Flooding began Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Traffic problems occurred on the interstate as a result, and some employees were unable to get to work Wednesday because of traffic, she told News Now. DePalo said members are still likely assessing the damages they sustained from flooding, and that there will likely be a great deal of hardship. The credit union will address the needs of members as they arise, she added. People’s CU posted on its website that the Kingstown, R.I. branch would be closed throughout the weekend with plans to reopen today. Websites of Westerly (R.I.) Community CU and Wave FCU, Warwick, posted information for members affected by the flooding and about damage-assistance resources. Flooding also affected southeastern Massachusetts, Kimmett noted. The Day reported Thursday that water had seeped into the basement of Connecticut Community CU, Pawcatuck, Conn.
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