USPS Is Closing Over 50 Post Offices in Several States, Effective Immediately
Customers across the country are dealing with new Postal Service suspensions.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) manages over 31,000 post offices across the country, and while there are some clear consistencies, they actually operate on different schedules. Hours can vary widely from facility to facility, with some post offices open on weekends, and others only providing service on weekdays. And sometimes, individual facilities have to close entirely. Read on to learn more about the USPS closing 50 post offices in multiple states.
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The USPS is closing over 50 post offices.
Customers in three states have just been cut off from in-person postal access. The newest service alerts from the USPS indicate that retail operations are now "temporarily suspended" at over 50 post offices in Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
In Texas, there are 10 facilities currently closed to customers, according to an update from the Postal Service on Feb. 1. The impacted post offices in this state include those in cities such as Llano, Killeen, and Fort Hood.
Another update from the USPS on Feb. 1 revealed that services have just been suspended at 19 facilities in Tennessee. Many of the closed post offices in this state are located in Memphis.
But in terms of the most closures, Arkansas takes the award. Also on Feb. 1, the Postal Service said that it had closed 25 post offices in the state. Major cities in Arkansas, such as Little Rock and Jonesboro, have been hit by the current service suspensions.
All of the facilities have been shuttered for the same reason.
A total of 54 post offices are now closed throughout Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas. And according to the USPS, they have all been shuttered for the same reason: "weather conditions."
In separate local news releases posted for each of the three states, the Postal Service acknowledged the disruption but said that it is necessary. "We apologize for any inconvenience that may be experienced, but the safety of both customers and employees is our highest priority," the USPS explained.
All week, these states have been dealing with "a nasty combination of freezing rain, sleet, and accumulating ice" that was expected to last through at least the morning of Feb. 2, CNN reported. Dubbed Winter Storm Mara, this icy storm system has left dangerous road conditions and hundreds of thousands without power in Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas, according to The Weather Channel.
As of noon on Feb. 2, over 41,500 power outages had been reported in Texas, about 70,000 in Arkansas, and roughly 20,000 in Texas, per PowerOutage.us.
Some of the post offices closed for the storm have already reopened.
The USPS started suspending services at facilities in Arkansas and Texas because of Winter Storm Mara on Jan. 31. But some of those post offices have already reopened. On Feb. 1, the agency posted a local news release to advises customers on the current "status of retail operations" in Texas.
According to the update, the following facilities have already "resumed normal operating schedules" in the state: Ackerly Post Office, Doole Post Office, Forsan Post Office, Knott Post Office, and Lohn Post Office.
A separate news release from that same day also confirmed that the Postal Service had resumed all of its retail and delivery operations in North Texas. "We are continuing to track this week's winter storm and taking all available actions necessary to maintain both safety and service," the USPS noted, adding that "mail and package delivery for residences and businesses is continuing as normal."
But the USPS is also asking for aid from people in Texas, as letter carriers will only continue to deliver to their routes "if it is safe to do so," according to the agency.
"The Postal Service asks customers to please help letter carriers deliver mail safely by maintaining a clear path to mailboxes. Customers receiving door delivery should make sure their sidewalks, steps, and porches are clear of snow and ice," the USPS said. "Customers receiving curbside delivery should ensure carriers can safely access mailboxes from their vehicles."
Bad weather can impact some facilities for an extended amount of time.
This is hardly the first time the Postal Service has temporarily closed post offices because of severe weather this winter. Massive snowstorms have previously prompted hundreds of facility closures across states like Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. But as with certain post offices in Texas, the USPS worked quickly to reopen facilities, and they've since already resumed normal operations.
Unfortunately for some residents, that's not always the case. Last September, the USPS temporarily shuttered more than 200 post offices across Florida in advance of Hurricane Ian. Some of those facilities resumed service that month, but others remain closed four months later.
As of Jan. 24, there are eight Florida post offices still closed "due to impacts from Hurricane Ian," the Postal Service recently warned. "We appreciate the patience of our customers as we continue to recover from Hurricane Ian and restore service as quickly as possible."