USPS Is Temporarily Suspending Services in These Places
Two major events are affecting postal operations this month.
There is an expectation that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will deliver mail and open post offices at least six days a week. The reality, however, is a little more complicated. Ongoing delivery delays cause many customers to go entire weeks without their mail, and post office closures are a common occurrence around the U.S. This month, the Postal Service is having to adjust its operations for major events. Read on to find out where and why the USPS is suspending services.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Making Even More Changes to Your Mail.
The USPS regularly suspends services for unusual circumstances.
Over the past year, we've seen the USPS temporarily stop deliveries and shut down post offices many times. Suspensions are typically the result of service disruptions from "unusual circumstances," according to the agency. These events often impact the safety of operations, and can include anything from staffing issues to severe weather.
For instance, the Postal Service suspended delivery services in several different areas last year due to animal attacks on postal workers. "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 in September, when an Ohio neighborhood stopped receiving deliveries after a letter carrier was attacked by a loose dog.
More recently, bad winter weather has prompted the USPS to temporarily close hundreds of facilities throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas. "We apologize for any inconvenience that may be experienced, but the safety of both customers and employees is our highest priority," the USPS said in a Feb. 1 press release after it suspended retail operations at select Tennessee post offices amid a severe ice storm.
Now, the agency is getting ahead of the situation and warning customers about February suspensions to be aware of.
The agency is adjusting operations for two major events this month.
When situations like animal attacks or severe weather arise, the Postal Service has to suspend services at a moment's notice. But now, the agency is warning customers ahead of time about how it has to adjust operations in certain parts of the country this month.
According to the USPS, two major events are going to impact postal service for some customers in February: the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.
A Feb. 2 press release from the Postal Service revealed that the agency is removing its collection boxes in certain parts of Arizona for the Super Bowl. As for Mardi Gras, the USPS had announced in a Jan. 18 press release that the holiday's festivities will affect some postal service in Alabama.
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Collection boxes are being removed in Arizona for safety.
The Super Bowl won't take place until Feb. 12 this year, but the USPS has already sprung into action to prepare for this major event. Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Arizona this weekend for Super Bowl LVII, which will be played at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, a northeastern suburb of Phoenix.
To ensure safety and security during the Super Bowl, the Postal Service said it is removing its collection mailboxes from two places in Phoenix—the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Southeast corner of Third Street and Van Buren. The boxes were removed on Jan. 30, and they will be reinstalled on Feb. 14, according to the USPS.
"The United States Postal Service, working in conjunction with the Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement agencies, will temporarily remove blue collection boxes in the following locations to increase public safety for the Super Bowl LVII 2023 event," the agency explained. "Postal officials emphasize this is a precautionary security measure only."
Mardi Gras will halt several services in Alabama for one day.
Mardi Gras is most commonly associated with New Orleans, but back in 1703, Mobile, Alabama, actually held the first Carnival celebration in North America. To honor the historic tradition, the city goes all out every year with a Mardi Gras Day parade and celebration. As a result, the USPS said that several postal services will be impacted in Mobile on Feb. 21.
On that day, mail and package deliveries will be temporarily suspended throughout ZIP Codes 36602, 36603, and 36604. "The U.S. Postal Service will not pick up mail deposited in blue collection boxes in ZIP Codes 36601, 36602, 36603, and 36604," the agency added. "Please deposit your mail the prior day before the last scheduled pickup time."
In terms of facilities, P.O. Box and retail operations will be temporarily suspended at the Midtown Post Office on Feb. 21, according to the USPS. The Mobile Main Office will have these services available, but the "Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) at this location will be unavailable to mailers," the Postal Service explained.
"Other Mobile area Post Offices will remain open for business and will observe regular hours of operation on Tuesday, Feb. 21," the agency noted. "The U.S. Postal Service will resume all regular operations (BMEU, blue collection box pickup, delivery, Post Office Box, and retail services) on Wednesday, Feb. 22."