PAHOA, Hawaii (10/29/14)--As 2,000-degree molten lava continues to cut towards Pahoa, Hawaii, choking off roads and threatening to swallow homes across the community, CU Hawaii FCU, which has a branch in town, is doing what it can to help out its members.
For those not in danger of losing their homes on the west side of the Big Island, the biggest concern lies in being cut off from the places Pahoa's people need to go, such as the school from which 900 children have been displaced because of the lava flow (CNN.com Oct. 28).
To prepare, many residents are loading up on gas and buying generators, Pahoa resident Mike Hale told CNN.
The Hilo, Hawaii-based, $247 million-asset credit union, meanwhile, is encouraging members in need of financial services to hop on its website and use online banking, Laurie Moore, communications officer for the Hawaii Credit Union League, told News Now.
Moore also said that members are being encouraged to use the credit union's fee-free ATMs if they're unable to make it to the branch.
The lava flow emanating from the Kilauea volcano, one of the world's most active, began in late June and has rolled on for 13 miles since then.
"We've been in contact with them," Moore said. "They've been giving us lava flow status updates."
The credit union sent out an update Monday on its website announcing that it would be extending hours at the branch in Pahoa, Moore said.
"The latest report from the Hawaii County Civil Defense is that the lava flow has crossed Apa'a Street," the website said. "To accommodate the extended travel time that our members may be experiencing, the Pahoa branch will have extended hours until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday."
This also isn't the first time this area has grappled with natural disaster this year, and it's not the first time CU Hawaii FCU has been there to lend a hand.
In August, Tropical Storm Iselle ravaged the Big Island, knocking over trees and power lines, damaging homes and making roads impassable (News Now Sept. 9).
CU Hawaii FCU again rose to the occasion and gave away more than a thousand bottles of water from its Pahoa branch, gave 10 cases of water to a local school and provided affected employees with water, ice and food.