FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (10/21/08)--Dick Ensweiler, CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, and other league staff visited credit unions and their employees over the past few weeks in Southeast Texas--an area that was heavily impacted by Hurricane Ike in September. League representative Marie Russ accompanied Ensweiler on several of the visits, and shared her impressions and thoughts (LoneStar Leaguer Oct. 20). “My family and I suffered very little damage and were out of electricity and communications for over a week, but that is nothing compared to those that I have seen in the past several weeks,” Russ said. “In one community-- Bridge City--it was estimated of the 3,500 plus homes in the community, only 14 were considered livable. “I have learned that as many as 60, if not more, credit union employees have lost their homes due to the storm surge--water up to six feet in their homes,” she added. “These employees have lost everything--furniture, children's toys, appliances, clothing, personal items, vehicles, livestock, everything,” Russ continued. “The majority of homes and businesses are still standing but the insides are gutted, leaving only the structure. One credit union employee said she didn't realize that she would miss something as simple as Q-tips. Employees are living with other employees, friends, families--and some families are split up between all--probably for the next six months to a year so they may rebuild. “Yet despite their personal hardships, they still report to work with a smile on their face--for others--others that are going through the same. I'm so proud to be a part of such a wonderful credit union family,” she concluded. TCUL has posted several interviews with credit union employees on its website. For more information, use the link.