USPS Is Suspending Services in 6 States, Effective Immediately
Residents in multiple parts of the U.S. will need to prepare for post office closures.
We all want uninterrupted postal service, but that's just not always possible. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its employees, customers, and our mail. And sometimes, that means operations can't proceed normally. Over time, we have seen the Postal Service suspend deliveries because of aggressive animals, and close post offices in the midst of natural disasters. Now, the agency been forced to suspend services in six different states. Read on to find out more about the latest closures.
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The Postal Service is suspending services in six states.
If you were planning to head to the post office anytime soon, you may need to change your plans depending on where you live. The latest updates to the USPS Service Alerts website indicate that a significant number of facilities have just been shut down in multiple areas.
As of Feb. 24, more than 100 post offices are currently closed temporarily in six states: California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
All of these post offices were closed for similar reasons.
The affected post offices may be spread across six different states, but they are all experiencing similar issues right now.
The Palomar Mountain Post Office in California was closed on Feb. 23 "due to winter storms," the USPS said in one alert. Separately, the Postal Service cited "weather" as the reason for the closures in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
The agency closed two Iowa facilities in Maurice and South Amana, while it shut down 14 post offices in Minnesota, including those in cities such as Fairmont and Cologne. There were also 23 closures in North Dakota, impacting cities like Casselton and Ellendale, and 37 in South Dakota, affecting cities like Groton and Valley Springs.
Those aren't the only consequences of winter weather. The USPS stated in a Feb. 24 alert that it has temporarily closed retail operations at several post offices in Michigan "due to power outages caused by weather." There are 51 affected facilities in this state, including post offices in cities like as Franklin and Tecumseh.
Dangerous winter weather is happening across the U.S. right now.
Various storms are stressing postal systems in these states. A massive winter storm began hitting the Midwest on Feb. 21, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue blizzard warnings for portions of Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, CNN reported.
As part of the same storm system, heavy, freezing rainfall was forecasted to hit Michigan, according to the news outlet. More than 700,000 homes and businesses in this state are now without power as of Feb. 24 because of this storm, per NBC News.
And California is currently being threatened with a "rare blizzard," The New York Times reported. According to the newspaper, the storm began unleashing rain, heavy snow, and strong winds in some parts of the state on Feb. 23.
The NWS said this has created blizzard conditions over mountain passes, even in the southern part of California. Flooding and weak tornados are also possible in the state over the next few days as a result of this storm.
The USPS could suspend delivery service as well.
Despite the hazardous weather, the Postal Service hasn't reported any delivery suspensions in its recent updates. In fact, the agency said in its alert for Michigan that "delivery operations will not be affected."
But never say never. In local press releases issued for both Iowa and South Dakota on Feb. 23, the USPS said this kind of dangerous weather could prevent people from getting their mail delivered.
"Delivery service may be delayed or curtailed whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions for letter carriers or when snow is plowed against mailboxes," the agency explained. "The Postal Service curtails delivery only after careful consideration, and only as a last resort."
To prevent this from happening to your home, the Postal Service is asking customers to clear any snow or ice from sidewalks, stairs, and mailboxes to ensure safe delivery service can continue without interruption from winter storms.
"With major snow accumulations covering the region, along with prolonged frigid temperatures, one tool is expected to make its return at homes and businesses—the shovel," the USPS said. "Snow and ice make delivery dangerous and slow. Maintaining a clear path to the mailbox—including steps, porches, walkways, and street approach—will help letter carriers maintain consistent delivery service."