Blizzard Closes New York Credit Unions
For the third time in five days, extreme weather has shuttered credit union branches.
Financial cooperatives in western and upstate New York are digging out from a blizzard that dropped two feet of snow Tuesday, forcing credit unions there to close their branches yesterday afternoon.
The storm made travel conditions extremely difficult to nearly impossible as local and state officials ordered road closures and issued travel bans, according to local media reports.
While conditions in the Buffalo area were clearing up Wednesday morning, snow is continuing to fall in Watertown, N.Y., forcing credit unions like the $192 million Northern Credit Union to keep its seven branches closed, according to an announcement posted on the credit union’s site.
The Watertown area received up to 10 inches of snow over the last 24 hours, the Weather Channel reported. The National Weather Service forecasted the region may get up to 20 inches of more snow by tonight.
Nevertheless, some credit unions managed to reopen their branches Wednesday morning.
The $50 million Meridia Community Credit Union in Hamburg, N.Y., for example, posted on its Facebook site that the travel ban in its city has been lifted and that it would be open for business Wednesday.
However, the $1.2 billion Empower Federal Credit Union in Syracuse, N.Y., said its Cheektowaga branch, located east of Buffalo, was closed Wednesday because of “extremely poor weather condition and the travel restrictions that exist in the Buffalo area,” according to the credit union’s Facebook post.
The $38 million Western New York Federal Credit Union in West Seneca, N.Y, located south of Buffalo, announced it would be open Wednesday, a Facebook post noted.
The $68 million Great Erie Federal Credit Union in Orchard Park, N.Y., said on its Facebook site Wednesday morning it was assessing weather and road conditions at its Orchard Park branch and would post updates on any delayed opening or closure information.
The New York blizzard is the third extreme weather event in the last five days that forced credit unions to close or delay the opening of their branches.
On Monday, numerous credit unions across the nation were forced to close branches because of brutal, life-threatening subzero temperatures generated by the Polar Vortex. Last Friday, some credit unions had to shut down offices or delay opening branches after a winter storm, Hercules, dumped one to two feet or more of snow throughout some states in the Midwest and Northeast.