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Credit Union CEOs Share Stories from Houston as Harvey Departs
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:45 AM

Hurricane Harvey aftermath

The departing remnants of Harvey’s backside continued to dump more rain in Houston where 56 credit unions collectively serve nearly 800,000 members and their families. In addition, reported levee breaches threatened to pour even more water onto roads and neighborhoods where homeowners are evacuated their flooded homes and vehicles.

But even as the rain eventually stops, additional flooding is expected from the area’s overflowing reservoirs.

Timothy Adams, president and CEO of $39.5 million SPCO Credit Union, said, “I live in the community of Kingwood, Texas, (north of Houston), which is going to get additional flooding because of that.”

Although Adams said he believes all of his 10 employees are safe, Craig Rohden, president/CEO of the $78 million Space City Credit Union, said many of his employees had to abandon their homes while other employees were trapped in their homes surrounded by water.

At least one employee, his wife and their two young children waited for 18 hours before they were able to jump on a boat to escape the rising floodwaters. A bus transported them to the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston that is being used to shelter thousands of flood victims.

“Our credit union is about one mile from the convention center, and I also happen to live nearby,” Rohden said. “Our chief operating officer, Nikki Moore, who has been keeping in touch with all 30 of our employees was able to relay this information to me. I was able to drive to the convention center and pick up our employee and his family and provide shelter at our credit union. There, they will have much more privacy, be able to take a hot shower and clean up, get some food, and figure out their next move.”

Several other Houston credit unions also reported their employees had to abandon their homes or had their homes damaged by the flood.

“We (my management team, board and I) are keeping in touch with all staff daily and more often as needed,” Keith L. Kearney, president/CEO of the $187 million InvesTex Credit Union. “As you might imagine, it is not safe for staff or members to be on the road. We prepared well with all our staff and notification to our members, however, mobility is severely restricted. We are doing what we can, when we can and focusing first on safety.”

Many credit unions report their employees who are able to work remotely from their homes are posting ACH transactions and running other back office operations that are supporting online and mobile banking demands. Houston credit union CEOs also reported that their ATMs are functioning though many do not know yet if the flood has damaged their branches.

Read more from CEOs here.

Source: Credit Union Times