Ohio CU’s Office Destroyed By Tornado

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MILLBURY, Ohio – The offices of $9-million Woodco Credit Union here are believed to be a total loss following a tornado that hit this small town.

Seven people were killed by the tornado, which destroyed much of Lake High School, inside of which was located the Woodco office. Initial estimates for the storm’s total damage have been as high as $100 million, with some 50 homes destroyed.

Mark Sommer, CEO of CANDO CU in nearby Walbridge, Ohio, acknowledged that his credit union will become the temporary home for one-branch WCU. “No telling how long it will take them to find a new location. But I told Woodco that as long as they need to use our place, it’s fine with us.”

CANDO also is a one-branch credit union, about the same asset size as Woodco. Sommer said his staff of four full-time and four part-time employees will make room for WCU. He told Credit Union Journal Monday evening that new data lines could be run last night and Woodco could be operating out of CANDO today. WCU will serve its members at an unused teller window, and through CANDO’s second drive-through terminal. “The rest of their staff will set up in our conference room,” Sommer said.

Woodco notified members via its website, and through emergency numbers, that all services are intact and withdrawals can be made through the ATM, and via debit and credit cards. Sommer said WCU will leverage some of CANDO’s data processing equipment and bring in some new hardware.

The Ohio CU League said it was able to reach a Woodco staffer and one director via e-mail. Both reported that no one was hurt, and that the credit union’s board met Sunday in an emergency session to enact the CU’s disaster recovery plan. “Multiple offers of assistance from credit unions have been received,” stated Becky Hart, OCUL VP- communications. “Credit unions and the community have stepped up in a big way.”

Sommer feels fortunate that his credit union was spared. “You see this all the time in Kansas and Oklahoma. But you don’t really get the picture until it hits close to home. Woodco is two miles from my office and they are totally destroyed. It’s terrible.”

Woodco CEO Juanita Zunk could not be reached by press time.


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