UPDATE! 3:30 p.m., Dec. 2
The environmental hazard was a trace amount of mercury that leaked from a package that was improperly mailed, according to David Rupert, Strategic Communications Manager for USPS.
As of 3:15 p.m., Dec. 2 crews were still working on finishing up cleaning and testing.
“It looks good,” Rupert said. He will provide an update after 7 p.m. when the work is projected to be completed.
Brookings postal mail was delivered today, according to Rupert. Mail carriers arrived early in the morning at the Gold Beach Post Office to sort the mail for delivery locally. Unfortunately, PO Boxes were not available to customers today.
UPDATE! 8:55 a.m. Dec. 2
Brookings postal mail will be delivered today, according to David Rupert, Strategic Communications Manager for USPS. Mail carriers are currently at the Gold Beach Post Office sorting the mail for delivery locally.
Unfortunately, PO Boxes will not be available to customers today.
If you must mail a package today, the closest post office is located in Smith River, CA.
Environmental cleanup crews from northern California and Portland arrived at the Brookings Post Office at approximately 2 a.m. this morning, Rupert said. The mercury leak is from a package that was improperly mailed. The cleanup is going on now. Surfaces and air are being tested, and they will check how much mercury was in the package and how much is missing. Rupert described it as a “small amount.”
“We bring in the best people,” Rupert said. “We have to protect the public and protect the employees. The post office was closed out of an abundance of caution.”
Rupert apologized for the inconvenience, saying more than likely the post office will not re-open today.
Rupert expects to know the extent of the cleanup by 1 p.m. today, and we will update this story with the new information.
Message from USPS received 8:34 a.m.:
Temporary postal closure. Out of an abundance of caution, Retail, Post Office Box and Delivery operations at the Brookings Post Office, located at 711 Spruce St. are temporarily suspended due to leakage of an improperly mailed package containing mercury. This is an emergency suspension of this office, not a permanent closure. Additional details will be provided as they become available regarding the reopening of this office. “The safety of our employees and customers is paramount,” said Postmaster Yvonne Huston. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and are working to quickly find a solution. Customers may find nearby USPS retail locations as well as many postal services at www.usps.com.
The Brookings Post Office closed abruptly this afternoon at approximately 2:30 p.m. A notice on the door stated the U.S. Postal service implemented an emergency suspension of the office effective immediately.
The emergency suspension of the office is not a permanent closure.