Maine CUs cite cooperation, preparedness in weathering storm's impact

November 3, 2017

When a powerful storm made its way to Maine Sunday night and continued into daybreak on Monday morning, its impact was significant.  With more than 400,000 customers throughout the state without power immediately following the storm, a number higher than the devastating ice storm of 1998, businesses, including credit unions, were forced to quickly move into business continuity mode.  From directing members to other CUs for shared branch transactions and utilizing generators, a quick scan of CUs across the state found that few members were inconvenienced as a result of the storm.

In western Maine, Tammy Daigle, VP Support at Oxford FCU, said, "Oxford FCU is extremely grateful to have a generator that powered our entire Mexico location for two days. Power was restored late Tuesday evening. It was business as usual and members had no idea that we were up and running by generator."  At PeoplesChoice CU, the help of other credit unions was cited.  "We have 4 branches and our Saco branch also houses our operation center which has a generator. Our Sanford and Wells locations lost power and CMP could not provide a timeline for restoration. We contacted another local CU to see if they had power, which they did. We informed them we have closed these two location and they may see an increase in transactions. We placed signs on our branch doors explaining the closure due to the storm but as members of the shared branching network you can use this CU's locations and conduct your basic transactions. We had no member complaints and were thankful we were part of the shared branching network," explained Eric Green, VP of Operations and Lending.  Other credit unions had similar stories.

Bill Ashland, AVP of BCP and Facilities at the Maine CU League and Synergent, commended the "preparedness of many credit unions in responding quickly to the storm.  At the height of the storm, many CUs adjusted their hours of operation for the safety of their staff and members.  The overall response from the Maine CU System was impressive, especially considering that many CUs had staff that came to work to keep their credit unions operating, despite having no power at home."