USPS Is Suspending Services Here "Due to Safety Concerns"
The agency has been forced to close facilities in two different states.
If you've ever had your mail not show up on a regular delivery day or gone to the post office during normal business hours only to find it closed, you're aware that consistent mail service is not always as promised. As a federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for ensuring everyone across the country has access to postal resources, but operations can be adjusted when it's deemed necessary to do so. That's especially true when it comes to safety, whether for postal workers or for customers. Now, certain U.S. residents are learning just that. Read on to find out where the USPS is now suspending services "due to safety concerns."
The Postal Service is responsible for ensuring customer and employee safety.
The USPS is not only responsible for ensuring all households in the U.S. have access to mail service. According to the agency, safety is also one of its top priorities. "The Postal Service takes the safety of our employees as seriously as we take our commitment to delivering America's mail," Linda DeCarlo, the agency's senior director of Occupational Safety and Health, said in a June 2022 statement.
As part of that responsibility, the Postal Service will curtail operations when safety becomes a concern. In March, the agency stopped deliveries to Russia amid the country's invasion of Ukraine. Then in July, the USPS suspended service at its Processing and Distribution Center in St. Louis, Missouri and closed a post office in the state due to historic flooding.
In September, residents in an Ohio neighborhood stopped receiving USPS deliveries after a letter carrier was attacked by a loose dog on the street. "The safety of our delivery employees and the aim to provide great customer service are both paramount to who we are as an organization," USPS spokesperson Naddia Dhalai told The Vindicator at the time.
Now, safety concerns are at the center of new service suspensions from the agency.
The USPS just suspended services in two states.
People in two different states are currently dealing with new service suspensions from the USPS. According to the agency's Service Alerts page, a few post offices in Louisiana and Tennessee are no longer open to customers right now. In the first update made on Oct. 28, the Postal Service said that "operations are temporarily suspended" at the post office in Evangeline, Louisiana. Customers are being directed to the nearby Jennings Post Office for all operations at the moment. "Customers can pick up their PO Box mail at the retail counter," the USPS said.
On Oct. 31, the Postal Service issued another update, this time alerting customers to service disruptions at two different facilities in Tennessee. According to the alert, both the Chattanooga Main Post Office and the Chattanooga Finance Station have had their operations "temporarily suspended until further notice." The USPS said the nearby Eastgate Station Post Office and Murray Lake Hills Station Post Office will serve as alternate locations.
The closed post offices are contending with safety issues.
In a separate local news release issued Oct. 28, the Postal Service said the suspension in Evangeline was "due to safety concerns." The agency added that the alternate location in Jennings will serve customers "until repairs can be made" to the Evangeline Post Office but did not explain why the facility needed repairs. "We apologize for this inconvenience to our customers and hope to have the office fully functional again as soon as possible," the USPS said.
The Postal Service did not explicitly call out "safety concerns" as the cause of the Chattanooga facility closures. But when apologizing for the inconvenience, the agency referenced its commitment to safe operations. "The safety of both customers and employees is our highest priority," the USPS said in a separate Tennessee news release issued Oct. 31. According to an ABC News report, a fatal shooting just occurred at the Chattanooga Post Office on the night of Oct. 30.
Other post offices are still closed for similar safety reasons.
While the Evangeline and Chattanooga closures are the two most recent updates, they are not the only postal facilities still closed to the public. From the beginning of October, the Postal Service has also alerted customers to post office closures in Mosinee, Wisconsin; Grandview, Iowa; Pemberton, Ohio; Stanley, New York; and Birmingham, Alabama. All of these locations appear to still be temporarily shut down as no new updates have been made regarding reopenings.
The Mosinee Post Office was closed following "structural damage to the lobby caused by a vehicle impact," while a building fire prompted the suspension of services in Grandview, according to the USPS. A fire had also broken out at the Pemberton Post Office right before it was temporarily closed, but the Postal Service said the post office closure in Stanley was the result of "unforeseen roof repairs." And the most recent closure at the Bluff Park Post Office in Birmingham was made "in an abundance of caution," with the USPS confirming to local news channel ABC 33/40 that structural issues at the facility were creating a safety concern.