Swollen Missouri, Kansas Rivers Forced Evacuations at 20 Banks

Article excerpt

Record high water last week along the Missouri and Kansas Rivers forced the evacuation of over 20 commercial banks, according to federal regulators in the area.

Most of the banks were small institutions, said Roger Denesia, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s deputy regional director for its Kansas City, Mo., office.

In contrast, only three or four banks were forced to relocate because of the flooding Mississippi River.

|Most Banks Won't Be Hurt'

James Leese, who heads the FDIC's regional office in Kansas City, said it is likely to take months to assess the impact of the flood on the banks and their borrowers. "My feeling is that most banks won't be hurt that bad," he said.

David Herndon, president and CEO of First State Bank in Kansas City, Mo., rented a tractor trailer last week, and he and his 23 employees loaded it up with records and equipment last Monday when the National Guard advised them to evacuate as water neared the top of a levee. His bank is three blocks from the Kansas River and six blocks from the Missouri.

"We entered into mutual assistance agreement several years ago with UMB Commercial National Bank, two miles to the north," Mr. …