Banking

Gustav closes 6 Wachovia branches

With Hurricane Gustav now a tropical depression, Wachovia Corp.'s Gulf Coast branches were open today except for six in Beaumont, Texas, where staffing was short because of mandatory evacuations and school closings, a spokeswoman said.

The Charlotte bank mobilized its disaster command center last week in preparation for Gustav, said spokeswoman Evelyn Mitchell. When hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, a number of Wachovia branches in Southern Mississippi lost power and sustained damage.

Three Beaumont branches opened today and all nine are expected to be open on Tuesday, Mitchell said.

Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. had three Beaumont-area branches affected by the storm, spokeswoman Diane Wagner said. Lobbies were closed at two of branches and one opened late. Bank of America also had 11 standalone ATMs in Louisiana affected (the bank doesn't have any branches in the state).

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