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winter storm

Winter storm causes CUs to close, report damage

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 | Author: Cornerstone League
closing  storm  winter 

Historic winter storms ravaged the nation this week, causing widespread power outages and dangerous driving conditions. Credit unions across the Cornerstone region have been forced to shut down due to safety concerns as power restoration efforts are underway.

Nancy Croix Stroud, president and CEO of First Class American Credit Union and Cornerstone League board member, said her leadership team was looking at a noon opening on Thursday due to the weather. The Fort Worth, Texas, credit union closed on Tuesday and Wednesday due to rolling blackouts.

Another credit union CEO in Abilene, Texas, reached out to Cornerstone’s Small Credit Unions Facebook group saying the credit union was without power, causing it to close on Tuesday and Wednesday. She expressed concerns about processing transmissions under such conditions.

As of Wednesday, the Cornerstone League, Resources, and Foundation headquarters in Plano, Texas, was without power but its emergency generator has been working. Cornerstone’s Oklahoma facility sustained some damage due to a broken pipe in the ceiling, which is currently being repaired.

“Some credit unions are concerned about processing their ACH files in a timely manner,” said Cornerstone League President and CEO Caroline Willard. “We’ve learned that NACHA will not be issuing a blanket grace period for delayed ACH and return processing, but case-by-case considerations may be given. We haven’t learned of any delays in armored delivery or ATM servicing, but we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Willard added, “Catalyst Corporate FCU reports that all ACH processing is currently on schedule. Its member services department is working closely with credit unions without power, and Catalyst Corporate FCU remains fully available to assist its members. We urge members to reach out to NACHA’s regional payments association for the latest information and updates, as well as Catalyst Corporate FCU’s member services or ACH departments for additional assistance.”

For credit union staff and volunteers that have lost power, a generator can be a convenient, but costly alternative energy source. Credit unions may rely on the help of a Cornerstone Foundation disaster relief grant to assist with the costs. Credit union employees and volunteers may apply for a grant, which can help with expenses associated with a natural disaster such as relocation and home repairs due to plumbing damage.   

“Cornerstone Foundation stands ready to assist when disaster strikes and our disaster relief grant program was created for events like the recent winter storm,” said Cornerstone Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran. “I strongly urge any affected credit union employee or volunteer to apply through our website if they have been affected by the storm.”

Learn more about the Cornerstone Foundation’s disaster relief grant program. Contact Cornerstone Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran at cmoran@cornerstonefoundation.coop with all other grant-related questions.

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