Birmingham CU Hit by Another Alabama Twister
The $47 million Secure First Credit Union was cleaning up Tuesday after a tornado swept over its main office on Monday in Birmingham, Ala.
Jordan Sullivan, president/CEO of the 10,700-member credit union, said he and his staff were “coordinating the contractors, clearing window glass and sweeping the floors” while they tried to carry on limited operations.
“We’re told it may take eight weeks before we get back to any kind of normal but right now we are operating on offsite processing and emergency power,” Sullivan said, adding that he had “some very great employees.”
The 4 a.m. storm blew off a large portion of the roof and damaged the front exterior and an upstairs accounting area.
The 21-employee credit union has two other Birmingham offices which were not affected.
Sullivan said his credit union is particularly grateful to the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the $1 billion Pen Air FCU of Pensacola, Fla. which is lending one of its two mobile branches to Secure First. After some technical modifications, the branch is expected to arrive later this week.
“We did this before last April to help out that credit union in Rainsville hit hard then by the tornadoes and we’re glad now to assist Secure First,” said Carroll Scarborough, executive vice president of Pen Air.
Staffers from the league in Tallahassee were slated to arrive in Pensacola on Wednesday to transport the branch to Birmingham “and we are right now making some changes on the ATMs and on security and tracking codes to make it usable for them,” said Scarborough noting the mobile branch, one of two it owns, has also been handy in happier times for use at Florida festivals, car sales and community events.
Meanwhile, Alabama credit unions continued to assess damage to property of members and employees impacted by the storm. The $386 million Legacy Community FCU of Birmingham reportedly saw a large number of employees hit hard by home losses, said a league official.
The Monday storm claimed two lives and destroyed more than 200 homes in Jefferson County, authorities said, and follows by less than a year the devastating tornado outbreak of last April that killed 243 people across Alabama, including 61 in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.