USPS Is Suspending These Services, Effective Immediately
The agency just updated customers on closed post offices in the U.S.
We've all experienced the frustration of traveling to the post office only to find out that it's closed. While the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) works hard to meet the mailing needs of Americans almost every day, most post offices are closed on Sundays and at various points throughout the year in observance of federal holidays. On other days, post office hours can vary widely depending on where you live. On Wednesdays, some close at 1 p.m. while others are open until 7 p.m., and on Saturdays, some are closed entirely while others are open for just an hour from 9 to 10 a.m. With that in mind, it's best to become well acquainted with your local post office's schedule—but even that isn't foolproof, as unexpected closures still occur. Read on to find out where the USPS is currently experiencing mail service disruptions.
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USPS keeps customers updated when it's unable to operate normally.
The USPS strives to provide uninterrupted service to Americans across the country, but that's not always possible. According to the agency, the operations at postal facilities can be impacted by a number of issues, including weather, natural disasters, and special events. But the Postal Service doesn't keep people in the dark when this happens. Through its website, the USPS releases regular service alerts so that residential customers can find out if mail is being delivered to their neighborhood or if their local post office is open.
"Mail service alerts and updates are provided … to inform the public and the mailing industry when service is suspended or embargoed at Post Office facilities for any reason, including natural disasters such as floods or fires and quarantines," the agency said in a July 22 Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) update. "Information is updated frequently and updates are made in real time."
USPS just had to close a post office over "safety concerns."
The Postal Service just updated its service alert page on Aug. 18 to inform customers of residential service disruptions in one area. According to the agency, the post office in Roscommon, Michigan, has been "temporarily closed due to safety concerns." The USPS did not elaborate on what these "safety concerns" were, but noted that P.O. box customers will still have access to their mail while "all other operations are relocating" to the post office in Houghton Lake.
Two other post offices appear to still be closed in Michigan as well from earlier suspensions this summer: the Luther Post Office is closed due to fire damage and the Mason Post Office is closed due to structural damage. At the beginning go June, local NBC-affiliate WILX reported that the Mason Post Office would start undergoing building repairs. Post Office spokesperson Elizabeth Najduch told the news outlet in June that officials were not sure how long the repairs would take, but it seems the work is not done yet. "No timetable has yet been established for the resumption of retail services," Najduch said.
Several other post offices are also closed around the U.S.
It's not just the state of Michigan dealing with post office closures, however. According to the Postal Service's latest service alerts, residents in a dozen states are experiencing residential service disruptions right now: Michigan, Illinois, California, Texas, Washington, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio, Arkansas, and Florida.
Beside Michigan, the most recent update from the USPS was in regards to Illinois. On Aug. 11, the agency alerted customers that the post office in Madison, Illinois had been "temporarily closed due to air quality concerns related to local fire." In the other states, post offices appear to still be closed for issues such as wildfires, flooding, structural damage, and safety concerns.
Temporary post office closures can turn to permanent closures.
The USPS also updates customers when service has resumed at post offices that had been temporarily closed. But not all facilities open back up. Steve Hutkins, a retired English professor from New York and creator of SavethePostOffice.com, told Spectrum News 1 in 2020 that temporary post office suspensions often lead to permanent closings by the USPS. During the decade between 2007 and 2017, 1,600 post offices were temporarily or permanently closed.
"Of the 1,600 completed and pending discontinuances, nearly 1,000—62 percent—involved an emergency suspension," Hutkins explained at the time. "An annual compliance review suspension list provided information about the cause for the suspension in 534 cases—252 suspensions (47 percent) were caused by a problem renewing the lease; 122 (22 percent) were caused by safety issues; 99 (19 percent) were caused by problems staffing the office; and 64 (12 percent) were caused by damage to the building. The lease issues have been the most contentious. Many communities and post office lessors have felt that the Postal Service deliberately created an issue over renewing the lease simply to justify closing the post office. The staff issues are also problematic since they're typically within the Postal Service's control."