The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for supplying you with regular mail service, but there are certain obvious limitations. Things like natural disasters and other safety issues outside of USPS control can unexpectedly get in the way. With that in mind, the Postal Service has the right to temporarily shutter facilities and suspend delivery services when it can’t operate safely. And now, more customers are learning about the USPS’ limitations, as the agency has just had to adjust operations in one area. Read on to find out where the USPS is suspending services, effective immediately.
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The USPS has had to deal with its fair share of service disruptions in recent months—and some are still impacting customers to this day. Back in September, the agency began temporarily closing post offices in Georgia and Florida due to Hurricane Ian, and several of these locations have not yet reopened.
That same month, the Postal Service withdrew deliveries from a neighborhood in Ohio after a mail carrier was attacked by a loose dog in the area. USPS spokesperson Naddia Dhalai told The Vindicator that deliveries will only resume “when it is safe for the letter carrier,” but there has been no update since then.
Last month, the Postal Service also closed a post office in Ohio, as well as facilities in Louisiana and New York “due to safety concerns.” Now in November, the agency is once again being forced to adjust its operations.
The latest service disruption is going to impact some residents in the most populated state in the U.S. On Nov. 4, the USPS updated its Service Alerts website to warn customers about newly adjusted operations in Riverside, California. According to the alert, the agency is temporarily closing the Magnolia Center Post Office, effective immediately. Customers are being directed to the Downtown Riverside Post Office for mail and retail services during the closure.
“Customers are reminded to bring proper photo identification for mail and package pickups,” the Postal Service added.
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In its Service Alerts update, the USPS said that it was closing the Magnolia Center Post Office “due to safety concerns.” But in a separate local news release issued Nov. 4, the agency elaborated on exactly what concern was affecting the postal facility. According to the release, the post office in Riverside had to be shuttered after a morning fire earlier that day.
The Postal Service said that the Magnolia Center facility had sustained damage as a result of the blaze, which was confirmed by local news coverage. The Press-Enterprise reported on Nov. 5 that a 34-year-old man who had just been arrested is suspected of going around Riverside and setting a series of fires, including the inferno that caused an estimated $80,000 worth of damage to the Magnolia Center Post Office. According to the newspaper, the fire entered the postal facility through a window but firefighters were able to contain it to just half the building.
Despite the costly blaze, Postal Service representatives confirmed that no mail, including mail-in ballots, were destroyed or damaged by the fire. Still, the post office will be closed indefinitely, USPS spokesman Duke Gonzales told The Press-Enterprise.
“The Magnolia Center Post Office will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so,” the agency said in its news release.
Fires don’t appear to be an uncommon plight for postal facilities. In the last year alone, the USPS has had to temporarily close a number of post offices around the U.S. because of fires. Facilities in Fairfax, Minnesota; Highlander, Texas; and Casper, Wyoming, have all been hit in 2022.
Some of these post offices are likely still closed now. The Postal Service has confirmed it reopened the Casper Post Office, but there have been no further updates indicating that the Fairfax or Highlander post offices have been reopened to the public.
Based on previous incidents, it could take many months to well over a year for a postal facility to reopen following a fire. For instance, a post office in Longs, South Carolina, is still closed after a fire erupted at the facility in June 2021, and USPS officials don’t expect to have it repaired and reopened until early 2023, News 13 reported. Over in Highland Township, Michigan, it took more than seven months for the post office to reopen after a blaze was set in Dec. 2021, The Oakland Press reported.