Hurricane Isaac: Mississippi, Louisiana Credit Unions Drying Out
About a dozen credit unions in Mississippi reported damage by heavy rains and strong winds from Hurricane Isaac, but all of them reopened Friday, including a branch of the $165 million Singing River Federal Credit Union in Moss Point that was damaged by some 800 gallons of water.
“We’ve been through this drill before with Hurricane Katrina so we will survive,” said Singing River FCU President/CEO Jimmy Smith, who was overseeing the clean up at the credit union. “We expect to reopen by noon today.”
Smith said much of the water came through the eaves on the roof and did some damage to the walls and floors but it was relatively minor damage compared with Katrina in 2005. Clean-up crews were working at the credit union throughout the morning using water pumps, dehumidifiers and fans to dry up the building.
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Meanwhile, a disaster recovery team from the Louisiana Credit Union League was out in full force to assess damages to credit unions caused by the hurricane that slowly churned its way through Louisiana and dumped more than a foot of rain, causing flooding in many areas.
There are unofficial reports that a few credit unions in the LaCrosse area, about 37 miles southeast of New Orleans, were flooded but the league said the extent of the damage was not yet known.
While many Louisiana credit unions were closed Thursday, some were expected to open Friday, according the league's website. The league’s office remained closed Friday but employees were monitoring emails and phone calls coming into the office.
“We understand that credit unions impacted by the storm are committed to opening your credit union and serving your members,” reads a statement on the League’s site. “Your league staff is here to assist our credit unions with any resource that may be available. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance you may need.”
Meanwhile, credit unions in Alabama and Florida were open for business even though Hurricane Isaac dumped heavy rains in parts of those states as well, and Arkansas credit unions were readying as the storm arrived there.
“We’ve been lucky. I contacted all of our credit unions this morning, and word so far is that everyone is doing fine. We didn’t get as much rain as we thought we were going to get,” Reta Kathley, president/CEO of the Arkansas Credit Union League in Little Rock, said Friday.