Twister-Damaged CU Finds Temporary Home
Its roof whisked away and windows blown out by a tornado, the $10 million Wadena Federal Credit Union in Minnesota found itself a temporary home in rented space.
Expressing his relief that no employees were injured in the June 17 twister that raked the north central Minnesota community, Brian Hillesland, Wadena FCU chairman, said the new site "might be convenient after all since we had been looking to expand," adding that it could become a permanent location.
There was no water damage to the files, but one employee's car, parked in front of the CU, was "flattened," Hillesland said. By the next week, computer equipment was being restored, phones were being turned on and members were informed of the new location through an announcement on a local radio station.
Hillesland and CEO Kim Pexsa, who both have homes away from the tornado site, said their properties had only minor damage. The credit union's headquarters, also in rented space, will have to be rebuilt, Hillesland said.
One of the CUs offering assistance to Wadena was the $140 million TruStar FCU of International Falls, which said it herded all of its employees into a vault when the storm hit. "Our disaster plan worked just fine and we were lucky to avoid the twister which hit west of us," said Dale Johnson, president/CEO.
Wadena FCU was the second CU to be hit by a tornado this month following a June 5 storm that damaged the $8.9 million Woodco CU in Millbury, Ohio.