USPS Suspending Services at 28 Post Offices in These States
Almost all of the closures are the result of recent severe storms in the Northeast.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is an institution Americans rely on every day, so when changes are made or services are disrupted, it can be quite inconvenient. But often, circumstances are out of the USPS' control and the agency is also forced to cease operations due to weather conditions or accidents. Disruptions of this nature are announced on the USPS' Service Alerts pages—and closures are often smaller in scale, affecting a handful of post offices in different communities. This week, however, the USPS has announced it's suspending services at a total of 28 post offices in four states. Read on to find out more about the latest closures.
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Over two dozen Vermont post offices are closed.
Catastrophic flash floods continue to plague Vermont today, with streets in Montpelier—the state capital—underwater this afternoon. According to The New York Times, 117 people had been rescued as of noon on July 11, but some people are still out of reach, necessitating rescue efforts via helicopter.
With the emergency order still in place, Governor Phil Scott warned this afternoon that the situation is "historic and catastrophic," and "nowhere near over."
Per the Service Alerts, the post offices temporarily closed as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 10. Locations have been shuttered in the following cities and towns: Barnard, Bethel, Bondville, Bridgewater, Cavendish, Cuttingsville, Wast Wallingford, Gaysville, Jamaica, Killington, Londonderry, Ludlow, Mount Holly, Peru, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Proctorsville, Quechee, S. Londonderry, Sharon, Stockbridge, Taftsville, Tunbridge, Weston, and Woodberry.
In a statement to Best Life, USPS Strategic Communications Specialist Steve Doherty said, "Much of Vermont and portions of New Hampshire are dealing with severe flooding due to recent storms. Many stations that aren't underwater are inaccessible due to roads being washed out. We are implementing continuation of operations plans for some stations this morning, relocating them to neighboring communities until the water subsides and we can begin the cleanup operations necessary to get them back in place. We know that state, local and federal officials are working diligently to reopen the roads, which will allow us to move the mail throughout the state. As areas are made accessible, we'll be attempting mail delivery where and when it's safe to do so."
Flooding also resulted in a New York post office closure.
Before the storm made its way to Vermont, it hit the Hudson Valley in New York, resulting in at least one death and millions of dollars of damage, per the NYT. While residents are still determining the full extent of the damage, cleanup from the flash flooding began yesterday.
There are "signs of normalcy" today, the NYT reported, as some of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line trains have picked up service to Manhattan, but postal services remain interrupted.
In a statement to Best Life, a spokesperson for the USPS confirmed that the Highlands Falls Post Office is temporarily closed "due to recent flooding." Per the July 10 Service Alert, the closure is attributed to water damage.
"Residents of Highland Falls who are provided street delivery will receive mail delivery where conditions permit," the spokesperson said. "Highland Falls customers who have P.O. Box service may pick up their mail at the Fort Montgomery Post Office, 130 Firefighters Memorial Drive, Fort Montgomery, NY 10922."
Another post office sustained damage in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania was also hit by severe storms on Sunday, leaving thousands in Berks County without power and displacing at least 40 people and five pets in the Reading area, the Red Cross told CBS News Philadelphia. As a result of the storms, operations at the Reading Station Post Office at 3115 St. Lawrence Avenue have also been suspended.
"Reading Station will be temporarily closed due to damage from severe weather conditions," a USPS spokesperson told Best Life. "During this closure, all retail and PO Box services will be offered at the Reading GMF Post Office. Customers are reminded to bring proper photo identification to pick up their PO Box mail."
The spokesperson added, "We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers and plan to have Reading Station 19606 reopened and fully operational as soon as possible."
Alaska also closed a post office—but for a different reason.
Per the Service Alerts page, a contract post office (CPO) in Alaska also closed as of 11:30 a.m. EST on July 7. The Fritz Creek CPO, located at 55770 E. End. Road is "currently closed due to fire damage," the alert reads. According to a USPS spokesperson, the CPO was inside the Fritz Creek General Store and the agency "will provide updates after the fire investigation is completed."
Both mail and retail services have been relocated to the Homer Post Office at 3658 Heath Street. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate the opportunity to serve Fritz Creek," the spokesperson told Best Life.