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Picking up the pieces

Tornadoes devastate South, Midwest

The Samburg, TN, Post Office was destroyed during a tornado that struck late in the evening on Dec. 10.

Powerful tornadoes tore through several states in the South and Midwest from Dec. 10-11, creating such devastation that the extent of the damage may not be known for some time.

All postal employees have been accounted for and none are known to be injured, but USPS facilities were affected.

The Post Office in Mayfield, KY, one of the towns hardest hit, was deemed a total loss. Twelve postal vehicles based there were destroyed. Three employees in the town were reported to have lost homes.

Another Post Office, in Samburg, TN, was leveled.

Power outages were reported in 45 facilities across five districts, and there were reports of flooding and roof damage.

Six people died in Edwardsville, IL, after part of an Amazon warehouse collapsed.

“The level of destruction wrought by these tornadoes is unprecedented. Postal Service leadership is working in the affected communities to help our employees recover and to restore service as quickly as possible,” said Mike Swigart, the USPS Continuity and Preparedness executive director.

Mail delivery may not be possible at the moment in areas of heavy debris and rescue activity.

Residential and business customers throughout the affected areas who have been displaced are encouraged to either put their mail on hold or temporarily change their address, depending on the circumstances.

Hold Mail and Change of Address requests can be accessed at

The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF) and the USPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are available to aid postal workers affected by the tornadoes.

The PERF and EAP websites have more information.