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Post Offices prepare for eclipse

People watch a solar eclipse in Spain in 2015.
People watch a solar eclipse in Spain in 2015. Next week’s total solar eclipse will be the first to cross U.S. mainland coast to coast since 1918.

Post Offices in the path of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse are gearing up for the historic event.

The eclipse will produce a 70-mile wide “path of totality” through 14 states. The path is expected to begin in Oregon shortly after 10 a.m. PDT and depart South Carolina around 2:47 p.m. EDT.

Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to flock to the path of the eclipse, which will be the first total solar eclipse to cross U.S. mainland from coast to coast since 1918.

“We’re a small community, so we’re not sure how this may affect mail delivery. We’re stocking up on extra fuel and taking precautions,” said Ilah Bennett, Postmaster in Dayville, OR, one of the towns in the eclipse’s path.

Other postal preparations include offering employees safety precautions and gearing up for a deluge of customers seeking the new Total Eclipse of the Sun stamps, a first-of-its-kind offering that transforms into an image of the moon when you touch it.

Additionally, special postmarks are being offered at Post Offices, including the Salem, OR, office, where employees plan to hold an event at the state capitol.

“Our employees are really excited to be joining with the community to celebrate the eclipse,” said Officer-in-Charge Carter Clark.

USPS also has an online map that shows Post Offices in the eclipse’s path, as well as a Postmaster publicity kit that highlights stamps, products and other materials.

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