USPS Has Been Forced to Suspend Services Here, Effective Immediately
The postal agency made the closure after a recent tragedy.
Millions of people across the country rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for their most important mail needs. As a federal organization, the postal agency is required to provide regular service to everyone in the U.S. by delivering mail six times a week and operating post offices during normal business hours. But with every rule, there are exceptions—and certain residents are now realizing that. The USPS just confirmed it has been forced to suspend services for some customers. Read on to find out the sad story behind the agency's latest closure.
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The Postal Service can suspend services when necessary.
The USPS works hard to maintain regular service for its customers, but that's not always possible. The agency can choose to temporarily stop deliveries and close post offices for a number of different reasons. These suspensions are usually the result of "special circumstances," which could include natural disasters, damage, or a lack of adequate safety measures, according to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).
If any of these circumstances (or others) justify an emergency suspension, "district managers may suspend the operations of any independent Post Office, Classified Station, or Classified Branch under their jurisdiction," the PRC explains.
But customers must be notified of any changes to normal postal operations, which is why the USPS has created its Service Alerts page. "Residential customers should check this Mail Service Disruptions website first for current, frequently-updated information about whether mail is being delivered to your neighborhood or if your local Post Office is open," the agency notes.
Now, the Postal Service has updated its website with news of a new suspension.
The agency just halted operations at one facility.
Some customers are experiencing new disruption to their USPS service.
On Dec. 2, the Postal Service posted a Service Alert for residents in Houston, Texas. According to the update, the agency has "temporarily suspended" retail services at the Debora Sue Schatz Post Office.
"PO Box services will remain at Debora Sue Schatz Station," the USPS said in its new alert. But for retail services, regular customers of this facility must visit an alternative location. The Postal Service said nearby post offices where these services are available include two other Houston facilities: the Westchase Station and the John Dunlop Station.
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USPS said it is "saddened" by the circumstances behind the suspension.
In a separate local press release from Dec. 1, the Postal Service elaborated on the suspension. According to the agency, the Debora Sue Schatz Post Office is unable to offer retail services to customers now "due to damages sustained in a vehicle accident on Nov. 30."
Houston Police said that the accident involved an 84-year-old woman who accidentally hit her gas pedal instead of the brake when she was pulling into a parking spot at the post office, NBC-affiliate KPRC reported on Dec. 2.
The incident resulted in the woman's vehicle crashing through the front lobby, fatally striking a 58-year old woman. "The Postal Service is saddened by the incident that occurred and we extend our deepest sympathy to all parties involved," the USPS said in a statement. "We will provide additional information when retail operations resume."
Other post offices have been closed because of damage.
This is not the first time the USPS has been forced to suspend services as a result of facility damage.
Back in June, a post office in Lynchburg, Ohio, was temporarily closed after sustaining "significant damage" from an electrical fire. Then in October, the agency had to close a facility in Mosinee, Wisconsin, due to structural damage caused by a vehicle, as well as a post office in Grandview, Iowa, for a building fire.
None of these facilities have been reopened as of yet.