USPS Is Closing 40 Post Offices, Effective Immediately
These new post office closures are hitting a few different states.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been busy keeping customers alert about postal problems like counterfeit postage and collection box theft. But these are not the only issues that can affect your mail service. Countless unexpected circumstances can make it dangerous for the USPS to keep certain post offices open. This year, the agency already temporarily shuttered two Alabama post offices because of damage to the buildings. Now, more facilities are being closed. Read on to find out why the USPS is closing 40 post offices, effective immediately.
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The Postal Service is closing post offices across several states.
The latest update to the USPS Service Alerts website indicates that many customers are now experiencing disruptions to their postal operations. On Feb. 22, the Postal Service sent out new alerts about a total of 40 post office closures affecting three different states: New York, Iowa, and South Dakota.
A post office in Carthage, New York, was among those just temporarily closed, according to the updates. Meanwhile two facilities in Iowa were also shut down—one in the city of Maurice and the other in South Amana.
But South Dakota is bearing the brunt of this recent set of closures: The Postal Service has temporarily shuttered 37 post offices in this state, including those in cities like Groton and Valley Spring.
One post office was closed for safety concerns.
The Carthage Post Office closure seems to be an isolated situation. This facility was "temporarily closed due to safety issues," according to the Postal Service's alert.
Best Life reached out to the USPS to find out more about the safety concerns affecting this post office, but has not yet heard back.
Local CBS-affiliate WWNY reported that an "electrical problem" was at play, however. According to the news st, USPS officials said that sparks and smoke were seen coming from an electrical line in the facility on Feb. 21. They're currently assessing the situation to determine a reopening timeframe, but officials said the post office will remain closed until safety reviews and repairs are completed.
"During this closure, customers' mail and retail services are available at Watertown Post Office," the USPS said in its alert.
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The rest of the post offices were shut down for a different reason.
The 39 post office closures in Iowa and South Dakota are all centered around the same problem. These facilities are "temporarily closed due to weather," according to the USPS. Currently, both states are facing severe winter weather.
Winter Storm Olive first hit the Upper Midwest on Feb. 23, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The storm is expected to drop at least a foot of heavy snow in parts of South Dakota and hit Iowa with a band of sleet and freezing rain, per the NWS.
The USPS is also asking for help from customers in Iowa and South Dakota.
Despite the post office closures, the Postal Service has not indicated that delivery service has been halted in Iowa or South Dakota. But in separate local news releases for both states, the agency did warn customers that this could be a possibility if they don't help out during snowstorms.
"Delivery service may be delayed or curtailed whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions for letter carriers or when snow is plowed against mailboxes," the USPS said. "With major snow accumulations covering the region, along with prolonged frigid temperatures, one tool is expected to make its return at homes and businesses—the shovel."
Customers should clear snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs, and mailboxes to ensure that deliveries can continue without issue, according to the Postal Service.
"Snow and ice make delivery dangerous and slow," the agency explained. "Maintaining a clear path to the mailbox—including steps, porches, walkways, and street approach—will help letter carriers maintain consistent delivery service."