For the second time this December, Sequim’s Sound Community Bank, 645 W. Washington St., experienced flooding.
Bank officials closed the bank on Friday morning, Dec. 20, after staff members discovered rainwater got into the building’s electrical system.
The building experienced flooding earlier on Dec. 7, as well, but did not completely close.
Shelli Robb-Kahler, the bank’s hub manager/vice-president, said staff discovered the latest flooding incident at 7:45 a.m. Friday morning.
While not as extensive as the Dec. 7 incident, there was more water damage to the electrical system causing the closure, she said.
CEO Laurie Stewart said they can’t operate without power in the bank.
“It’s a busy, busy branch with a lot of clients,” she said. “We’re very appreciative of our clients. We’re sparing no resource to try and get this open. We feel terrible about it.”
Five Sequim staffers worked in the Port Angeles branch on Friday, and others took vacation days, Robb-Kahler said. The bank closed Friday and Saturday and was scheduled to close for Christmas.
Brady Robb, the bank’s marketing director, said bank users can check for updates on the website at www.soundcb.com.
Phone calls to the branch were being diverted from Sequim (360-683-2818) to Port Angeles (360-452-4624) during the closure.
Sound Community Bank’s Creekside Branch set to tentatively open in January 2020 near Sequim QFC offers an ATM, and Port Angeles’ branch offers full service for customers, too.
Sound Community Bank also partners with All Point Network ATMs for no surcharge to withdraw money from ATMs in Sequim QFC, Sequim Safeway and Sequim Walgreens, Robb said.
The Sequim branch continues to offer a night drop during the closure, too, where staff will deposit it in Port Angeles for customers.
Staff said customer records and safe deposit boxes are unaffected by the flooding.
Stewart said Sequim’s branch is the largest in Sound Community Bank’s network with almost 5,000 households, several of those maintaining multiple accounts.
Despite more extensive flooding on Dec. 7, the bank never closed that weekend, staff said.
“We were running a full service branch through drive-up,” Robb-Kahler said.
“Bless Shelli and staff for running out to the curb doing all kinds of transactions,” Stewart said.
With electrical systems affected this time, however, the bank’s entire property is dark — including its ATM.
“We’re looking at a longer space of time (to dry the building out this time),” Robb-Kahler said.
Bank officials said the 1980s-era electrical system is antiquated and parts for it aren’t readily available.
Stewart said the basement has always had issues with water with a sump pump installed to counter them.
“But we’ve never had anything to this degree,” Stewart said.
“We now believe there may be a more major of a cause of failure of a drainage pipe.”
Sound Community Bank is working with America’s Elite, Clallam PUD and the City of Sequim on the issues.
For more about Sound Community Bank, visit www.soundcb.com.