postal service

In this file photo, a United States Postal Service mail carrier uses a cart to get parcels to his vehicle at the Davenport Main Post Office on West 2nd Street. Carts and other supplies had to be relocated because flooding closed down the building.

Neither snow, nor rain, nor ... flood.

The United States Postal Service pledges that nothing will stop it from delivering the mail, and that has been true for the 80 some people who work at Davenport's Main Post Office at 933 W. 2nd St., between Warren and Myrtle streets.

The office closed Wednesday, May 1, following the HESCO barrier breach April 30 in downtown Davenport that sealed off access to the building because of flooding on 2nd Street. And it likely won't reopen until the first or second week in June, Postmaster Anthony Harris said Thursday.

But all services have been maintained, he said.

Administration and window duties — selling stamps, mailing packages, picking up mail — moved to the Northwest Station, 4018 Marquette St.

About 700 people/businesses have post office box addresses at the Main Post Office, so they now are picking up at Marquette, he said. People whose homes and businesses are inaccessible to carriers because of floodwaters also are picking up their mail there.

And the 50 carriers who work out of the Main Post Office are now picking up their mail at the Milan location, then driving to Davenport — fighting their way over the bridges like everyone else — to make their deliveries, Harris said.

The day the post office closed posed some tricky logistics: Carriers picked up their mail and postal service vehicles in the morning as usual in the Main Post Office in downtown Davenport, but when their day was done, they drove the vehicles to Milan for the night, then were shuttled back to Davenport in a bus to pick up their personal vehicles, Harris explained.

Even before the levee breach, the parking and loading dock areas in the back of the Main Post Office that faces West River Drive had been flooded for two-three weeks, Harris said.

Harries worked with neighboring businesses to find places for carriers to park their cars and re-staged the postal service vehicles.

The building itself did not take on any water except for 1½ to about 2 inches that seeped through the walls on the Warren Street side into the boiler room, which is a separate, lower level room, Harris said. The boiler itself was not affected.

"There was no damage other than contamination," he said. But, "we can't move back until we are decontaminated and inspected. And they won't do abatement until the flood waters are no longer a threat. We're shooting for as soon as possible."

Maintenance employees from the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids offices came down to help move equipment and supplies, Harris said.

"We apologize to our customers for any disruption in service. We are doing everything we can but there's not a lot you can do when you're dealing with Mother Nature."

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