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Recovery mode

USPS rebounds after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria update
Logan Parkinson, left, and Brandon Larnard, both Navy petty officers 2nd class, prepare a patient for evacuation last week on St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Image: U.S. Navy

USPS is working to restore service in the Caribbean after it was slammed last week by Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm that caused widespread destruction throughout the area.

The Postal Service closed all facilities on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in preparation for the storm, which knocked out power and caused major flooding and landslides in several places.

Limited pick-up mail service is being restored, and a handful of facilities are opening for limited hours as it’s deemed safe.

With a majority of operations suspended, USPS is not accepting employee or public donations of supplies destined for the Caribbean at this time. The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program are available to help employees affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.

“The Postal Service is making every effort to recover from this disaster, but it’s going to be a long recovery. As always, our first priority is the safety of our employees,” said Northeast Area VP Ed Phelan, whose jurisdiction includes the Caribbean. “We will re-open facilities only when it is safe to do so.”

USPS has more than 2,800 employees in the Caribbean serving approximately 4 million residents.

Maria arrived on the heels of Hurricane Irma, which caused widespread damage to Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands earlier this month.

The Postal Service is asking employees affected by Maria to visit one of several Puerto Rico Post Offices, including Humacao, Carolina, Mayaguez, Ponce, Caguas, Arecibo and the San Juan Processing and Distribution Center, to report their condition to local management and the Postal Inspection Service.

Employees with phone service can also call the USPS national emergency hotline at 888-363-7462.

The USPS Service Alerts and USPS Newsroom sites have the latest information.

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