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128 CUs damaged by Ike now fully operational
FARMER'S BRANCH, Texas (9/23/08)--Of the 188 credit unions in Texas damaged by Hurricane Ike, 128 are now fully operational and another 55 have some degree of restored service. Only five, located in the hardest hit areas, remain non-operational, said the Texas Credit Union League. "We are proud, to say the least, of how well the credit union community has pulled together to make sure that institutions in the affected area have the support and resources needed to get back up and running for their members," said league President/CEO Dick Ensweiler. "It's hard to imagine any other industry that would send resources to 'competitors.'" "In this time of crisis, credit unions have demonstrated once again that the cooperative nature of our movement is its greatest strength. The focus remains on what is most important: the owners/members of our institutions," he said. For an update on fundraising, see the story, "Funds rolling in to help CUs, says league." The city of Galveston, Texas, hit hard by Hurricane Ike, will begin permitting its residents to return to the island tomorrow as some of the essential utilities and services have been restored. "This is good news for the five credit unions that are located on the island," said Rick Grady, Texas Credit Union League vice president of marketing, public relations and communications. The west end of the island will still be closed for a period because of "serious destruction" to roads and because debris still exists. "The Bolivar Peninsula is still inaccessible by road. Hurricane Ike "peeled nearly every road off the ground and threw much of it into Galveston Bay," said Grady in an update Monday morning. Only high-profile vehicles and boats can reach much of the peninsula. Electrical power continued to be a concern in some areas. As of Monday morning, nearly 1.8 million customers have regained their power, with 852,000 still without power. Most of those were in Harris County. Running water and sewer operations also are beginning to be restored.

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