DUBLIN, Ohio (9/26/08)--More than a dozen credit unions in Ohio were closed at some or all of their branch locations last week, after the remnants of Hurricane Ike battered Southwest, Central and Northeast sections of the state. Some credit unions were without power for a few days, others for the entire week, said the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL)(eLumination Newsletter Sept. 24). The league said it investigated the outages and provided information to the state and federal regulators. This week, most of the credit unions affected were back to normal business. Ohio's credit unions can apply for disaster relief grants from the Ohio Credit Union Foundation in such disasters, the league said. Shared branching played a key role in serving the closed credit unions' members. Marty Auxter, OCUL Services Corp. business consultant, noted that shared branching is a "vital disaster recovery tool, especially in situations like we just experienced, where power was available in one neighborhood, but not another." Currently, 76 of Ohio's credit unions participate in shared branching.