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CU System
Weaker Ikes projected path includes Texas Louisiana
MADISON, Wis. (9/9/08)--Residents and credit unions in Texas and Louisiana were urged not to get too complacent now that Hurricane Ike has weakened from a Category 4 to a Category 1 hurricane. Ike, whose winds topped 135 mph as a Category 4 and whose sea surge reached five stories high when it hit the Turks and Caicos Islands, slowed to 80 mph winds as a Category 1 Monday. It weakened as it barreled through Cuba Monday but was expected to regain some strength after it enters the warm Gulf of Mexico. In its projected path: The entire coast of Texas and as far east as Lake Charles, La. Landfall is projected to be Friday or Saturday. Key cities along the Texas coast include Corpus Christi, which has 15 credit unions and branches of four others; Galveston, which has five credit unions and a branch of a sixth credit union; Brownsville, near the Mexican border, has three credit unions; and Beaumont to the north, with 10 credit unions as well as branches from seven others. Houston, while not on the coast, is inland from Galveston. Houston, excluding its suburbs, has 84 credit unions and countless branches of credit unions headquartered elsewhere. The Texas Credit Union League has a Texas Disaster preparation website with information for credit unions (use the resource link). The Louisiana area could be in the volatile north east circle of the outerbands of the hurricane. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal noted Ike could impact the coastal parishes of the state with hurricane strength winds, wave surges, high tides, torrential rain and tornado activity. (Bloomberg.com Sept. 8). Meanwhile, credit unions in the Florida Keys dodged the brunt of Ike. At least one credit union there had, for the second time in three weeks, blasted an emergency e-mail notice via DigitalMailer's crisis management system, to members with information about the credit union's emergency plans. The Keys' mandatory evacuation order expired Monday.
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