Hurricane Ivan Leaves Its Toll OnPanhandle CUs

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (09/20/04) -- Credit unions in the Floridapanhandle as well as coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Louisianawere struggling to reopen to serve their members Friday, with somefacing power outages expected to last for weeks following the wrathof Hurricane Ivan. The Florida CU League was asking for commercialgrade generators and mobile ATMs to help credit unions in thePensacola area, many of which are expected to be without power foras long as three weeks. The generators and ATMs would allow thecredit unions to provide immediate services to members in need,helping them buy materials for repairs and for other emergencyneeds. Area credit unions were weighing the damages from the finalof three hurricanes. Gulf Winds FCU's main office in Pensacola losta portion of its roof but hoped to find its computers, which hadbeen covered before the storm in case of such an event, would stillbe operational. Harvesters FCU, in the Panhandle town ofCantonment, sustained damage to its roof and wall when a tree fellon the building. Navy FCU's member service center in Pensacola lostits roof and a sidewall, but the credit union reported the callcenter came through unscathed and will be picking up the slack fromthe member service center. Members First CU of Florida said itsmain office sustained minor roof and water damage. The Floridaleague said its hurricane relief fund had collecetd almost$150,000, which the league has been disbursing in small grants tocredit union employees and members who property was damaged by oneof the three hurricanes.

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