Tornado Hits Mid American CU's Start-Up Branch
GREENSBURG, Kan. -- When the strongest tornado to strike an American town came roaring into Greensburg, Kansas on the evening of May 4, it carried away 95% of the community's structures--including an H&R Block office on the town's main street which had a special relationship with the $120 million Mid American Credit Union. "I am looking at a picture of the damaged building now," explained Mike Welli, marketing director for the CU, "and in the way that tornados often do, the front of the building looks relatively undamaged but the back has been blown away." The building the CU used was an H&R Block office with which the CU shared a special relationship. Members using the branch would work with the H&R Block employees who could serve their needs on behalf of the CU. At the time of the tornado the branch, which was about 110 miles away from the CU's main office, served 65 accounts Welli said. "We saw that branch as a growth opportunity and effort," Welli said. Members could make deposits, fill out loan applications and make limited cash withdrawals from the branch," he added. Welli said the CU was working hard to contact members who have been damaged from the tornado but faced a challenge when so few members have phone or mail service. The CU has placed advertisements in two papers in surrounding communities to let members know how they can contact the CU and to inform them the CU would be working on assistance plans to help members affected by the tornado. Welli said the CU was still collecting information and had not yet decided how it would go about helping members left damaged by the storm.