The deadly storms and tornadoes that struck the South on Wednesday appeared to have hit Alabama credit unions the hardest, with two CUs reportedly experiencing significant damage and scores of offices and branches closed Thursday because of power outages.
CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis., said its Protection Disaster Team had made contact with leagues in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia and so far two CUs in Alabama, which it did not identify, had “substantial damage” while a few more sustained minor damage.
“In order to ensure we do not miss anyone, CUNA Mutual’s Credit Union Protection Disaster Team is in the process of reaching out to those credit unions we feel were most at risk” said CMG. “With power and phones out in many areas, this will take time. For those identified at risk, who we cannot reach by phone, we will have the catastrophe adjusters their areas making direct contact with them.”
The League of Southeastern Credit Unions said its Birmingham office remains closed for the second day because of power outages, while the $34 million DCH CU in Tuscaloosa, a particularly hard-hit community, lost part of its roof.
The $2.8 billion Redstone FCU of Huntsville said it has become “a kind of local hero” Thursday as a result of its ability to keep a dozen ATMs operating on emergency power even all but three of its 17 branches were closed because of the lack of electricity.
“There are 380,000 people in north Alabama without power and people at least are able to get cash because of our system running,” said Joyce Dye, a senior vice president at Redstone who credited what she called the CUs’ “proactive disaster planning” program.
Redstone members, she said, “are lined up using our available services to access their funds in the midst of this disaster and are in awe of their credit union’s ability to continue to serve.”