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Project Storm Break to help Bahamian credit unions rebuild

by Cornerstone Credit Union League | Oct 08, 2019

Two credit unions damaged by Hurricane Dorian will put money toward restoration efforts.

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, the charitable arm of World Council of Credit Unions, is distributing Project Storm Break funds to help two credit unions in The Bahamas repair infrastructure and replace equipment damaged by Hurricane Dorian, which hit in early September as a Category 5 hurricane.

Damage assessments at the Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union (PWCCU) identified visible water lines that reached four-feet high, up to the top of its teller counter. Behind the teller counter, the water marks were five-feet high. Despite PWCCU’s generator being elevated off the ground outside, salt water that rose nearly eight-feet high rendered it inoperable. Inside the building, structural damage to the concrete floor was visible as it partially collapsed nearly five inches in some spots.

Public Workers Co-operative will use Project Storm Break funds to replace sheet rock, dry wall, and the teller counter. They also need to replace several pieces of computer equipment and office furniture.

National Workers Co-Operative Credit Union (NWCCU) has yet to reopen the main office of its Freeport branch. NWCCU staff is temporarily providing services to members out of a smaller building on the same property but cannot reopen its main office without making repairs and buying new equipment.

NWCCU will use Project Storm Break funds to repair the roof and purchase several items for the branch, including a new ATM machine and backup generator.

Public Workers and National Workers are the first Bahamian credit unions to apply for rebuilding and restoration funds available through Project Storm Break, but Worldwide Foundation Executive Director Mike Reuter expects more credit unions in The Bahamas to ask for assistance.

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About the World Council of Credit Unions
The World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. The World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. The World Council has implemented more than 300 technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people.