One Bahamas CU Opens After Hurricane; NC CUs Report All Have Reopened

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama–A credit union on this hurricane-devastated island has reopened its office–albeit with limited hours–and is working to service members.

WOCCU Bahamas

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) continues to accept donations to assist affected credit unions and members.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., credit unions in the Carolinas have reopened following the storm with few reports of damage.

While most of the nine credit unions in the Bahamas remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s destruction, The Grand Bahama Co-Operative Credit Union—the only credit union based on Grand Bahama—reopened its Freeport location with limited hours on Thursday, Sept. 5, according to WOCCU.

GBCCU Operations Supervisor Kimberly Russell told World Council the credit union had a contingency plan in place that allowed it to reopen despite damage to the main branch, and despite the fact several of their staff members lost their homes.

“Russell says GBCCU members have been appreciative to be able to access cash withdrawals so soon after the hurricane, while other financial institutions have yet to reopen,” WOCCU reported. “This has allowed members to purchase groceries, emergency supplies, and gasoline for their vehicles and generators.”

WOCCU said its  Project Storm Break continues to be open and active to receive financial donations to support both the immediate needs of credit union members and staff, as well as to address long-term rebuilding needs in The Bahamas.

CUs in Carolinas Largely Spared

Meanwhile, in the U.S., “By and large, credit union facilities in the Carolinas were spared from the worst of Hurricane Dorian,” said Dan Schline, Carolinas Credit Union League President and CEO. “This outcome is a welcomed relief given the more severe damage we experienced following Hurricanes Florence and Matthew. Credit unions are now focused on helping members get back on their feet, with some even offering aid to any other credit union in need.”

The league’s Courtney Jackson noted that the organization is still monitoring the condition of credit unions in its states.

“We’re still collecting updates,” she said. “For now, we continue to remind our credit unions that the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation has disaster relief aid available should any credit union employees or volunteers be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. More details on how to apply for a grant or make a donation are available at www.carolinasleague.org/dorian.”

The league reported the majority of CU offices that closed due to the storm, many due to power outages, have reopened.

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