Hurricane Alex Threatening Southern Texas

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Hurricane Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, was projected to make landfall Wednesday night in northeastern Mexico, south of this city near the mouth of the Rio Grande River.

As Alex neared southern Texas it was rated a Category 1 storm, but with the possibility of reaching Category 2 status in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service warned that rain bands and isolated tornadoes were possible anywhere within 50 to 100 miles of the Texas coast. Flooding rains of up to 12 inches were predicted in the direct path of the hurricane.

The Texas Credit Union League updated its website to include not only information on disaster preparedness but also hurricane-tracking software from Stormpulse.com. Linda Webb-Manon, TCUL’s public relations director, said the league had not yet received any credit union closures as of Wednesday afternoon, “but we are in communication with our member credit unions.”

“We have a tracking device and we are tracking the storm so credit unions can monitor the storm from our website,” she told Credit Union Journal.

Two days before the storm was projected to make landfall, TCUL sent an e-mail to all of its member CUs in the area expected to be hit with heavy rain and high winds, including Coastal Bend, Magic Valley and Texas Crossroads. Webb-Manon said the message was that TCUL was actively monitoring the progress of Alex, and a 21-page Disaster Planning Guide was attached. The guide outlined the planning process and plan development and emphasized the importance of awareness, preparation communication and mitigation. In addition, she said, it highlights the recovery steps and offers a number of important checklists, including an Emergency Plan Checklist and Credit Union Disaster Preparedness Operations Checklist.

On Wednesday a spokesman for CUNA Mutual Group said the company had contacted policyholder credit unions in Brownsville that carry CMG’s property and casualty coverages.

“We provided the credit unions with our emergency claim contact information, and we have obtained theirs,” said Phil Tschudy, media relations manager. “We advised them we will continue to monitor the storm and asked them to contact us if they sustain any damages. Our toll-free disaster hotline [800-637-2676] is answered 24/7. We plan to follow up with the credit unions once the storm passes.”

NCUA issued an advisory warning all credit unions and credit union members in the potential path of the storm “to prepare for all contingencies, including the possible interruption of some credit union operations.”

Credit union members impacted by Hurricane Alex may be able to call an NCUA emergency toll-free hotline for assistance, the agency advised. The hotline would be activated “as needed.” Information, including the operating status of credit union branches, will be obtainable from the NCUA website: www.ncua.gov.

 

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