USPS Is Closing More Post Offices for "Safety Reasons," Effective Immediately
The postal agency is initiating new closures on top of ongoing ones.
Safety is always at the forefront of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) mind. The agency strives to keep postal operations running smoothly, but sometimes problems arise that prevent this from happening without putting workers and customers at risk. Sometimes this means an aggressive animal is threatening mail carriers, and sometimes it has more to do with dangerous weather. Now, the agency is battling unsafe conditions in two states, forcing it to add to its list of service suspensions. Read on to find out more about the latest USPS closures.
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The USPS recently closed post offices for safety concerns.
The Postal Service is no stranger to shutting down facilities—especially when safety is a concern. In fact, the agency already closed two post offices this month for that very reason.
On March 13, the USPS updated its Service Alerts website to inform consumers that it had just closed a facility in Heflin, Louisiana, "due to a safety issue." The temporary Heflin Post Office closure is meant to "allow for facility repairs," a Postal Service spokesperson previously told Best Life.
On March 17, the USPS released another alert announcing that a post office in Gonic, New Hampshire, had also closed "due to safety concerns." USPS spokesman Stephen Doherty previously told Best Life the Gonic Post Office closure was done in response to a vehicle collision that left "some structural damage to the ceiling" of the building.
"The landlord is working to quickly make the necessary repairs but we do not have a timeline [for a reopening] at this time," Doherty said.
Now, even more closures are taking place.
The agency is shuttering more facilities for the same reasons.
New updates to the Service Alerts website are warning customers about more closures. According to recent alerts, the USPS is shuttering post offices in two states for the same reasons.
On March 20, the agency revealed that it has closed another facility in Louisiana—this time in the town of Dry Prong. The Dry Prong Post Office is "temporarily closed due to safety concerns," the Postal Service said.
One day later, on March 21, the agency announced that it is also shutting down a facility in Arlington, Vermont. According to the alert, the Arlington Post Office is "temporarily closed due to safety reasons."
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The Louisiana post office is undergoing repairs.
The new Louisiana facility closure seems quite similar to the closure in Heflin. David Walton, who works in corporate communications for the USPS, told Best Life that operations at the Dry Prong Post Office are also temporarily suspended to "allow for facility repairs."
He did not elaborate on what specific safety concerns prompted the need for repairs, however.
During this closure, the USPS said it will be operating a Mobile Retail Unit (MRU) in the parking lot of the Dry Prong facility. This is where "retail and post office box service will be provided," according to a separate local press release.
"At this time, we do not have an anticipated date for the resumption of operations," Walton said. But in its press release, the Postal Service noted that it hopes to have "the office fully functional again as soon as possible."
The facility in Vermont is closed because of fumes.
The Vermont facility, on the other hand, is dealing with a potential fuel leak. When asked about the closure, Doherty told Best Life that "apparently there was a strong odor of fuel" present in the Arlington Post Office.
"The cause of the fumes was not determined but, out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to keep employees and customers out of the building until the landlord had an opportunity to abate the problem," he said.
Arlington resident Nancy Boardman recently told the Manchester Journal that some say the odor has been an issue for several months, and that employees are allegedly concerned it has contributed to health issues.
"Yeah, people have told me, 'Oh, this is nothing new, this has been going on since December,'" she told the newspaper. "Apparently they were having rashes and breathing problems, and they complained about it, but without any satisfaction."
During this closure, customers are being directed to pick up their mail and obtain retail services at the East Arlington Post Office—which is "approximately 1.5 miles away," according to Doherty.
"There is no change to street delivery in town except for notifications for parcels that couldn't be left, which will temporarily have to be retrieved at the East Arlington office," he said. "We look forward to resuming full operations in Arlington as quickly as this issue can be resolved."