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BOOSIER CITY, La. – Members of other credit unions that evacuated New Orleans and other areas destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will receive some financial assistance from Barksdale Federal Credit Union. The $550 million CU will assist members of other Louisiana credit unions in a number of ways, said Arno Easterly, president/CEO. With a valid Louisiana identification card or driver’s license, members can cash checks here, take out loans up to $300 and other short-term loans and non-members can use wire services for free. It is Easterly’s understanding that loans that are put on Barksdale FCU’s books by members of other Louisiana CUs impacted by Hurricane Katrina will be bought back by those CUs when they are up and running again. Hundreds of residents from New Orleans traveled north here and to Shreveport to escape Katrina, Easterly said. A Microtel Hotel sits directly across from Barksdale FCU and the rooms are filled to capacity, he pointed out. So moved were CU employees by the people there that they cooked up large dishes of food and gave it to the hotel’s occupants yesterday. “We’re really trying to respond to a need,” Easterly said, adding the credit union is also being careful not to take on too much risk. “Some people won’t be eligible for membership,” but the CU will look at situations on a case by case basis. His preference is that members be affiliated with the more than 50 Louisiana credit unions that belong to the CU Service Center network. Easterly said I-49 and I-10, the two main evacuation routes were “bumper to bumper” the day before Katrina struck. Barksdale FCU is Louisiana’s largest credit union serving more than 90,000 members. Boosier City is about six hours north of New Orleans.

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