Last minute post office closures prompt frustrations - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Last minute post office closures prompt frustrations

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The U.S. Post Office motto reads that snow, rain or heat won't stop a courier from doing their job, but it doesn't say anything about hurricanes. 

Thursday marked the second day that mail drop-off slots at the post office in Lake Charles were covered, preventing people from being able to mail things without going inside. But inside, customers noticed something else. 

"I'm not too sure ... I came to come check our mail for our business," said Cameron resident Shawnie Mock. "Well, no one's here, so I'm just wondering." 

According to the U.S. Post Office, Hurricane Isaac caused mail plants in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans to close until noon Thursday afternoon, but they had no record of post offices in our area being closed. 

"I called just to make sure and it was a national number and they called here or they looked on their schedule or something like that and they said that it should be open from 1-4," said Moss Bluff resident Chad Smith. "They were out to lunch when I called."

It wasn't a lunch break. Hours after one, still no one.

"I told them we were in Louisiana with the hurricanes and everything and she said let me check on that ... She said that they checked this location to make sure that it was open and it was supposed to be," he said.

The front doors to the post office were open and the hours of operation read Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the gated up service desk customers saw once inside, told them something wasn't right. 

"The door is down and there's not a sign or anything so I guess it's closed," said Lake Charles resident, Allie Mariano. "There's no sign or anything or any indication otherwise."
 
With knowledge of Isaac approaching for days, one customer said he should have been warned of any closures or changes before paying for expedited service.

"They should have told me that when I paid for it," said Lake Charles resident Arnold Bernard.  "If I would have known that, I would have just went on and sent it regular mail."

KPLC finally heard from a postal worker in the area who informed us that the reason offices were closed was because "mail is received from Lafayette and New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  Because those were closed, we had no mail to deliver."

She informed 7News that offices would re-open on Friday and that mail service would return to normal. 
 
On Friday, McKinney Boyd, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, issued this statement:
 

"I apologize to all of our customers in Lake Charles, LA. It was an oversight and I will work to keep you informed," Boyd said.

 

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.
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