DENVER (September 16, 2021) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced it has committed $100,000 to support disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The bank has made immediate contributions including:
- $50,000 to the American Red Cross as it works provide help from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, especially in rural areas that were hard hit.
- $15,000 to the Employees 1st Fund established by REV Broadband. REV Broadband’s service territory, located Southeast of New Orleans, took a direct hit from Ida and more than 100 of its employees suffered severe losses.
- $10,000 to the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) Hurricane Relief fund supporting electric cooperative employees and their families impacted by Hurricane Ida.
- $5,000 to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which received CoBank support following recent flooding in the region. The contribution will support damage created by Ida in an area still recovering from the previous flooding event.
- $5,000 to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Employee Emergency Assistance Fund which continues to support those impacted by recent flooding and has seen compounded damage due to Hurricane Ida.
Understanding that additional needs will be identified as the bank’s impacted customers and the communities they serve continue to recover, remaining funds will be set aside for distribution to appropriate charitable organizations as long-term recovery efforts are launched.
Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, made landfall on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With winds of 150 mph, it is estimated that this is the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to strike the state on record. Although the storm lost power as it moved into Mississippi, sustained rain caused severe flooding. More than one million consumers in the region were without power.
The Red Cross estimates that 5,000 – 10,000 homes have been destroyed. It is currently responding in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia with 2,000 volunteers either on the ground, or in transit. More than 1,800 people are currently in Red Cross shelters.
“The multi-state impact and scope of damage resulting from Hurricane Ida, along with widespread power outages, has left hundreds of thousands of people in need of tremendous assistance. We are deeply grateful to the American Red Cross and all of the organizations and volunteers that are providing their support,” said Thomas Halverson, CoBank’s president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to doing our part to help rural communities receive the assistance and resources vital to restoration.”
CoBank is a $158 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.