Flood Threat Closes Bay StateCUs

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TAUNTON, Mass. - (10/19/05) -- Staff at the two credit unions inthis city have closed their offices as a dam above town isthreatening to burst and cause flooding. But at least one of thecredit unions operated for part of the day yesterday even though anevacuation order was in place. Morton FCU Manager Kathleen Baransaid she was able to open her credit union by using the badge shewears to enter Morton Hospital and Medical Center where the CU islocated. Morton FCU, with $10 million in assets, has less than2,000 members, all of whom work for the local hospital. Baran hadcrossed the bridge in Taunton before the evacuation order anddecided to stay. She told one employee to stay home and take careof her children, while Baran's Massachusetts State Trooper sonreprimanded his mother for reporting to work. Baran eventuallychose to close the credit union yesterday afternoon. Nearby TauntonFCU also closed and left a recorded message for members statingthat it would be open "as soon as circumstances allow." The town of50,000, roughly 30 miles from Boston, is threatened by the burstingof the century-old, wooden Whittenton Dam, due to heavy rainsthroughout the northeast.

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