MADISON, Wis. (9/17/08)--CUNA Mutual Group says that damages to credit unions wrought by Hurricane Ike last weekend are significant.
"As expected, damages caused by Hurricane Ike are far greater and more widespread than almost all other Category 2 hurricanes we've seen in recent years," said Phil Tschudy, media relations manager at CUNA Mutual.
"Ike's large size has resulted in losses from south of Galveston, Texas, through Louisiana. Although many deal with minor roof, sign and water damage, we are seeing some substantial losses in the Galveston and Houston areas ranging from major roof damage to large flood claims," he told News Now.
"We do not have reports of any main credit union locations being totaled. There are, however, a couple of branch facilities that we believe will be total losses," he said.
There likely will be more.
"Authorities continue to restrict access to some areas, which is hampering our claims inspection teams, although we have been able to get to many of the most severely impacted credit unions," Tschudy said.
"Many credit unions remain without power, and some have been unable to inspect their facilities. We expect to see more claims reported over the next several days. As more areas become accessible, our catastrophe adjusters will be visiting all locations reporting major damage," he said. "We strongly encourage affected policyholders that have not yet contacted CUNA Mutual to do so as soon as possible by calling our toll-free disaster hotline, which is answered 24/7, at 800-637-2676," Tschudy added.
Texas "will not be normal for several weeks," said Rick Grady, Texas Credit Union League vice president of marketing and communications.
Parts of Texas are without power and will be for several weeks. Because of debris and missing road systems, law enforcement and legal officials have asked evacuees not to return to the area until it is safe, the league said.
The Texas league is communicating with its credit unions through its website, onsite visits to affected credit unions and cell phones. The league website is updated regularly with the status of each credit union, and special voicemail and e-mail telephone lines have been installed so that credit union CEOs can report their condition to the league.
The Texas league also is using Twitter to get out information and is looking into adding a private messaging service to send text messages to cell phones.
courtesy of cuna.org