Are you waiting for something to be delivered by your mail carrier? Or do you need to drop something off at the post office? When it comes to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), most Americans can expect to have access to either option every day except Sunday and holidays. But some Postal Service suspensions are more sudden, and you may discover that you have to hold off on sending or receiving anything because the USPS has halted service in your area. Read on to find out where the agency is suspending operations now.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Making This Major Change to Your Mail, Starting Sunday.
The USPS can suspend its services for different reasons.
The USPS is legally obligated to provide mail services to all Americans, but it is also allowed to temporarily withdraw deliveries or close post offices in certain areas, depending on a number of factors. Service can be impacted by "unusual circumstances," such as traffic, staffing fluctuations, severe weather, natural disaster, and safety hazards, according to the Postal Service.
People across the country have already experienced several examples of this in the past year. Back in April, residents in a Santa Monica, California, neighborhood had their daily delivery service suspended by the USPS after multiple carriers had been assaulted and threatened by one individual in the area. Then in July, historic flooding in St. Louis, Missouri, prompted the closure of a processing facility and a post office in the city. More recently, wildfires across the West Coast forced the USPS to close post offices throughout several states in September.
Now, a different problem has the Postal Service adjusting its operations in multiple locations.
The agency is curtailing operations in several areas, all for the same reason.
Hazardous conditions are now affecting mail service in many areas, according to two new releases from the USPS. On Sept. 28, the agency announced that it would be temporarily suspending all operations at the post office in Sapelo Island, Georgia, effective immediately. Then on Sept. 29, the Postal Service released another alert, notifying Americans that the agency's South Carolina District has announced a temporary suspension of retail operations in Beaufort and Parris Island.
Starting Sept. 30, several other cities in South Carolina have had retail and delivery operations curtailed: Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, and Jasper.
Hurricane Ian is the deciding factor in the suspended services for both states, according to the two news releases. In the affected South Carolina areas, the USPS said there are "no alternate sites" available for customers right now. "Hurricane Ian is expected to make a final landfall in South Carolina. There are impacts to USPS operations," the agency warns on its website.
Postal services had been suspended in Florida, too.
Hurricane Ian is heading towards the South Carolina coast right now, but that will not be the first state hit. The storm first made landfall in the U.S. on Florida's west coast Sept. 28 as a Category 4 hurricane, according to ABC News. As a result, the USPS began temporarily adjusting delivery and retail operations throughout the state on Sept. 27.
Most areas in Florida had their service suspended as Hurricane Ian approached, but many of the previously closed post offices have now reopened, and delivery has been restored in several areas. On Sept. 29, the Postal Service said it had resumed delivery and retail operations in the Lower Florida Keys, as well as in Central and Southwest Florida. Then on Sept. 30, the agency said it had "resumed delivery and retail operations in much of Northern Florida."
The USPS said safety is its top priority.
While many Florida areas have had their mail service restored, the USPS warned that suspensions in Georgia and South Carolina will remain in place "until further notice." According to the agency, this is necessary to protect Americans. "We apologize for any inconvenience customers may experience, but the safety of both customers and employees is our highest priority," the USPS said.
To keep informed for when delivery will resume in certain areas and for when specific post offices reopen, you can check the agency's Service Alerts page for current status updates. "The Postal Service appreciates its customers and their understanding as we temporarily adjust operations due to inclement weather," the USPS said. "We will continue to monitor tropical weather conditions and will restore service when it is safe to do so."