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Puerto Rico Credit Unions Post-Hurricane Maria
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 6:45 AM

After nearly one week since Hurricane Maria raked its way across Puerto Rico, credit union organizations on the mainland continue to have problems receiving updates from the island.

As of now, CUAid is still active for credit unions located on the U.S. mainland that were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but so far the disaster relief fund has not been activated for credit unions in Puerto Rico. According to National Credit Union Foundation's Christopher Morris, “Puerto Rico is a unique situation” and discussions about relief work between WOCCU and the Foundation are still ongoing as information from the decimated island has been slow to arrive.

An NCUA spokesman said agency officials have heard that of the eight credit unions in Puerto Rico and five in the Virgin Islands, two are 50 percent operational, three are not operating, and the rest have not been able to report.

On Sunday, the Liga de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico, which represents the island-insured credit unions, said it could not assess the condition of the institutions because of communication problems.

There are 116 cooperatives holding $7.9 billion for nearly one million members on the island.

In an email sent to CU Times late Monday afternoon from Phil Tschudy, spokesperson for CUNA Mutual Group, he stated, "Communications and power outages continue to be challenging in addition to the widespread devastation. It’s very difficult situation. We continue the process of connecting with colleagues, our customers and their families to ensure their well-being and to address their needs."

According to a tweet posted Monday afternoon by JetStream Federal Credit union, "The JetStream Puerto Rico branch will re-open September 26 with limited hours and services from 9:00-2:00 pm until further notice."

JetStream FCU is one of the few credit unions CU Times has been in almost regular contact with since the hurricane hit last week. The JetStream FCU branch is located in Carolina, Puerto Rico which is just east of San Juan. 

Source: CU Times