Services Restored To All Gulf Coast CUMembers

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NEW ORLEANS - (09/19/05) -- A disaster recovery team led byNCUA, data processors and other private vendors, and civil reliefworkers had succeeded in restoring some operations to all of the139 credit unions in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama damaged ordestroyed by Hurricane Katrina by Friday afternoon. Many of thedamaged credit unions were working out of disaster recovery sitesor other credit unions as their homes offices were flooded or cutoff from phone or electric power, but all of them were reportingsome level of operations by Friday, according to Len Skiles,executive director of NCUA, who helped spearhead the disasterresponse for NCUA. "A lot of the credit union offices weredestroyed. Some of them were looted. Some of them are under water.But at this stage, every credit union member has access to theirfunds," Skiles told The Credit Union Journal. The next stage of therecovery effort will focus on getting the damaged credit unionsback to full operations, he said. That will include trying torecover the millions of paper documents, like loan files, that havebeen destroyed by water or other damages from the massive storm.NCUA said all but one of the affected credit unions had a requiredback-up tape detailing members' transactions, but the majority ofcredit union documents are still paper-based, so are expected to behard to replace. The next stage of the disaster recovery willentail great strains on credit union funds, said Skiles. "There'sgoing to be a severe outflow of funds, with a declining inflow offunds, as people withdraw cash and take out loans to financerepairs."

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