Hurricane Sandy: New Englanders Shutting Down, Ohio On Watch
The credit union leagues in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island closed at noon today while the New England states’ credit unions braced for Hurricane Sandy.
Rob Kimmett of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire leagues and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island said their Marlborough, Mass., office closed at noon today.
“Credit unions have been informed that they can reach league staff via e-mail or cell phones throughout the emergency,” said Kimmett. “It seems that credit unions are closing early today. The worst of the storm is expected in this area during the late afternoon and evening. From what we are seeing and hearing, credit unions are using all available media to communicate their schedules, website, Twitter, Facebook and their phone answering messages.”
The biggest concerns in New England will probably be downed trees from extremely high winds that may cause power outages and coastal flooding from tidal surges.
However, Kimmett said there are few, if any, credit union offices or branches located in low-lying areas that may be threatened by tidal surges. Hurricane Sandy has already caused extensive flooding along the New Jersey and New York coastlines.
“The credit unions and the league will be gearing up to assess the damage sustained by members and the communities and to see how they can assist in the recovery effort,” said Kimmett.
On the west edge of the massive storm, the Ohio Credit Union League office in Columbus stayed open today and was monitoring the storm.
“We won’t feel the brunt of the effects of the storm until overnight tonight and into Tuesday and Wednesday,’ said Patrick Harris, OCUL’s director of media and public relations. “The league office will remain open barring any unexpected inclement weather. We are here to assist our credit unions however possible and we have disaster relief funds from the Ohio Credit Union Foundation ready to fulfill grant requests as needed.”
Hurricane Sandy is expected to wallop Ohio with high wind gusts of up to 60 mph starting Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
In addition, up to more than an inch of snow is expected to fall in central and south Ohio as well as eastern Kentucky and central and western Pennsylvania. However, as much as six inches to 3 feet of snow could fall in parts of West Virginia, western Virginia and northwest North Carolina. The snow is being generated from cold air that will mix with Hurricane Sandy’s strong winds, according to The Weather Channel.
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