YREKA, Calif. (9/19/14)--Residents of Weed, Calif., are sifting through the rubble after Monday's wildfire engulfed the small town, and the nearest credit union--Siskiyou Central CU--is on standby to help them recover.
"Our time is going to be after this when our members know their full loss and what their insurance will cover," Becky Ives, CEO of the $59 million-asset credit union, told News Now. "We are heartbroken at the devastation and loss."
The credit union's two branches in Yreka and Mount Shasta are within 25 miles of the town of 2,967.
The grass fire moved so quickly that residents barely had time to evacuate. "Some people had less than 10 minutes to get out of their house," Ives said.
Officials estimate that the fire destroyed 110 homes and damaged another 90 in the small northern California town (Associated Press Sept. 18). Ives said she expected a huge loss of RVs and other vehicles too.
The Roseburg Forest Products mill is Weed's second-largest employer. Although the main processing area and facility were not destroyed, a number of buildings on the complex were damaged, the company reported.
Until Siskiyou Central knows how many members it will have to work with for loan modifications or extensions, it is providing "the littlest things," Ives said.
The two branches are serving as donation centers for pet food and supplies. It handed out 20 $50 gift cards to any victims who needed immediate help. Volunteers are standing by, waiting for the call for assistance.
"We're collecting information that people might need, too," Ives said, adding, "When people ask what is needed, it's things like can openers for all the donated canned food."