USPS Is Suspending Services Here, Effective Immediately
The agency is closing a post office temporarily, while many other facilities remain closed.
Nationwide delivery delays and staffing shortages have been plaguing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for some time now. But those aren't the only challenges that can affect your mail. Although the USPS is required under federal law to provide regular service to all Americans, the agency is also allowed to halt operations in certain places when necessary. A number of people throughout the U.S. are dealing with this amid closures across the country, and now the Postal Service is closing another location. Read on to find out where mail services are being paused—and which recent closures are still in effect.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Says You Can't Do This With Your Mail After Nov. 5.
The USPS temporarily closes post offices for many reasons.
There are over 30,000 post offices located throughout the U.S., and they received more than 749 million customer visits just last year, according to the USPS. But these facilities are not always in service.
Most post offices are open six days a week, but closed for retail operations on Sunday and shut down entirely for federal holidays. At the same time, there are localized closures that happen across the country for various reasons. According to the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency's district managers can "also suspend the operations" of any post office under their jurisdiction for causes such as extreme weather, the termination of a lease or retail agreement, lack of qualified staff for operation, severe damage, and safety challenges.
Now, another post office has shut its doors.
The agency is suspending operations at one facility.
The USPS does issue alerts for consumers when postal facilities are experiencing service disruptions. According to the agency's latest update on its Service Alerts page, residents in Hawaii are facing a new closure.
The alert—which was posted on Oct. 18—indicates that the retail section of the post office in Pahala, Hawaii, is now closed. Customers have the option to go to several nearby locations for retail services "during this closure," the USPS said. This includes other Hawaii-based post offices in Naalehu, Hawaii National Park, and Volcano.
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The Hawaii post office closed after a pair of earthquakes.
In its Service Alert, the USPS said that the Pahala Post Office's retail section is closing "due to safety concerns" but did not elaborate any further. However, based on local news reports, it appears that the safety concerns have to do with recent damage to the building. On Oct. 15, Big Island Video News reported that the retail lobby of the post office in Pahala had "closed indefinitely" following two earthquakes that occurred under the Big Island's Mauna Loa volcano the day prior.
According to the news outlet, the USPS issued a news release in the town reporting that the facility's building had experienced damage to some of its interior light fixtures as a result of the earthquakes. The Pahala Post Office's PO Box lobby was not damaged by the natural disaster, however, so mail service to the facility's 600 hundred PO Box customers will not be impacted.
"We apologize for any inconveniences that this temporary closure causes and appreciate our customers' understanding and support," Pahala Postmaster Gina Gomes said in a statement, per Big Island Video News. "The safety of our employees, customers and the mail are our top priority. We will reopen our retail lobby as soon as we possibly can."
There are many other post offices still closed around the U.S.
The Pahala Post Office might be the latest closure reported by the USPS, but Hawaii is hardly the only state facing recent service disruptions at one of the agency's facilities. As of Oct. 19, there are at least 15 states still listed on the Service Alerts page, with some states like Minnesota and South Dakota continuing to deal with post office closures from July. Prior to the Hawaii update, the USPS reported on Oct. 15 that operations at 10 different post offices in Florida "remain temporarily suspended until further notice" due to Hurricane Ian, which hit the state on Sept. 28.
Certain residents in New York and Ohio are adjusting to more recent postal closures, as the Stanley Post Office in New York and the Pemberton Post Office in Ohio are both currently closed due to safety concerns. At the same time, a facility in Grandview, Iowa, is shut down right now as the result of a building fire, while retail operations at the post office in Mosinee, Wisconsin, are suspended because the building's lobby is dealing with structural damage caused by impact from a vehicle.