CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Using Web sites and beefed-up call centers, credit unions in this flood-ravaged city Thursday put into motion broad-scale financial relief packages to aid members and employees who have suffered staggering losses.

As part of disaster relief assistance, the CUs here were extending loan payments, waiving penalties on early CD withdrawals, providing free checks and replacing debit cards for free among other offers.

"If you have sustained significant flood damage, you may b eligible" for a $500 disaster relief grant through the Iowa Credit Union Foundation, noted the $19 million Metco which on Thursday reopened its riverfront office closed the last 10 days because of the devastating Cedar River flooding. Under its disaster preparedness plan, Metco was able to relocate its staff and operations to Quaker Oats CU, located on dry land.

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