UPDATE! 19:25: Tomorrow back in business
The Brookings U.S. Postal Service will begin operations tomorrow, Dec. 3, according to David Rupert, USPS Strategic Communications Manager.
After visual inspection, real-time air monitoring and complete elimination of environmental hazards caused by mercury leaks from the package, the mail is now considered safe for employees and customers.
UPDATE! 3:30 p.m., Dec. 2
The danger to the environment is tracking the amount of mercury leaked from a package that was sent incorrectly, according to David Rupert, USPS Strategic Communications Manager.
“It looks good,” Rupert said. He will provide an update after 7 pm, when the work is expected to be completed.
It was delivered by Brookings mail today, according to Rupert. Postal carriers arrived at the Gold Beach post office early in the morning to sort mail for delivery locally. Unfortunately, mailboxes were not available to customers today.
UPDATE! 8:55 a.m. Dec. 2
Brookings mail will be delivered today, according to David Rupert, USPS Strategic Communications Manager. Postal carriers are currently at the Gold Beach Post Office and sorting mail for delivery locally.
Unfortunately, mailboxes will not be available to customers today.
If you need to send a package today, the nearest post office is in Smith River, California.
Environmental crews from Northern California and Portland arrived at the Brookings post office around 2 a.m. this morning, Rupert said. The mercury leak is from a package that was shipped incorrectly. Cleaning is ongoing. Surface and air tests will check how much mercury was in the package and how much was missing. Rupert described it as a “small amount.”
“We attract the best people,” Rupert said. “We need to protect the public and protect employees. The post office was closed due to a lot of caution.”
Rupert apologized for the inconvenience, saying more than likely the post office would not reopen today.
Rupert expects to know the extent of the cleanup by 1 p.m. today, and we’ll update this story with the new information.
A message from the USPS was received at 8:34 a.m.:
Temporary closure of mail. As a precaution, retail, mailbox, and delivery operations at Brookings Post Office, located at 711 Spruce St., have been suspended due to leaking improperly shipped mercury-containing packaging. This is an urgent shutdown of this office, not a permanent closure. Further details will be provided when they become available regarding the renovation of this office. “The safety of our employees and customers is paramount,” said Postmaster Yvonne Houston. “We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to our customers and are working to find a solution quickly. Customers can find nearby USPS retail locations as well as many postal services at www.usps.com.
The Brookings Post Office closed abruptly this afternoon at about 2:30 p.m.
The emergency stop of the office is not a permanent closure.