FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Robert Hoel, the retired head of the Filene Research Institute, and a former branch of the old Norlarco Credit Union turned out to be the two prime CU victims of the devastating May 22 tornado and hail storm which hit the nearby community of Windsor.
Hoel, a leading CU consultant and frequent speaker at CU conferences, lost his car in the storm while the Norlarco CU branch, now part of Public Service CU, sustained ventilation damage and was closed over the Memorial Day weekend.
"My wife and I were in a restaurant at the time the tornado hit, and we could see the wrecked cars in the parking lot but we did not know it was a tornado destroying homes a mile away," said Hoel, a Filene fellow who has been serving as a director of Public Service CU since March following the NCUA-engineered purchase of Norlarco.
Property damage in Windsor, a community of 15,000 where Hoel maintains a home, is expected to reach $250 million with the Public Service CU of Denver now extending emergency loan assistance and deferrals to residents and businesses. More than 100 Windsor homes were destroyed and another 100 declared uninhabitable, said Hoel, adding "my car was totaled by what looks like 150 hail dents."
Less than 100 yards from the Public Service branch in Windsor, he said, there was "severe damage to cars and other buildings." Windsor, both a farming and suburban community, is 10 miles from Fort Collins, the home of Colorado State University where Hoel has been a member of the finance faculty.
One employee of the Public Service reported damage to her home. Hoel noted that his Denver CU moved quickly last week to aid storm victims including a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.