Five or six of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s 15 branches, including its headquarters branch in Basking Ridge, were expected to open Thursday, President/CEO John Fenton said.

The $2.2 billion Affinity FCU, New Jersey’s largest credit union, serves more than 135,000 members.

“Our main headquarters is connected to our generator and is fully operational,” said Fenton. “The other branches are in areas with power and we will use the Internet and cellular to make sure our members are served especially with cash needs.  Remember, most of the ATMs in the state are out because of the phone line and power issues.”

Fenton also said Affinity’s contingency plans for dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy are being executed as planned.  Though all of the credit union’s systems are fully operational, Fenton explained the big problems are with the phone carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint – that are all offline without power.

“So we are like an island without bridges,” said Fenton. “Fortunately, our call center is backed up by PSCU in coordination with our team in our main headquarters, and our members have been calling via the number posted on our website.  We are now trying to work around the line issue since we have Internet access and we are working with our major partners, like VISA and Intuit, to utilize the virtual world rather than the obviously antiquated hard-wired world.”

On its website, Affinity FCU has posted a new toll free number, 866-654-4588, for members to call.

“Our members are being served both through our backups and our staff at headquarters.  Our board and our regulator are fully aware of everything going on,” Fenton said. “I am proud of the Affinity team who, despite their own personal issues at home, have been working tirelessly, creatively and successfully to take care of our members.”