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Update on Tropical Storm Imelda's impact on USPS

What happened

HOUSTON – Many Houstonians haven’t received mail since Wednesday as a result of Tropical Imelda Storm’s impact on several post offices east of Houston and near Beaumont.

What’s new

Officials with the U.S. Postal Service still won't tell KPRC 2 if the roof collapse at the nation's largest processing and distribution center in north Houston had anything to do with delays in deliveries.

All they could tell us Tuesday is that customers should start receiving more mail volume.

When asked when, they didn’t answer our question.

The USPS sent a congressional briefing sheet Tuesday to U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia’s office, detailing restoration efforts encompassing ZIP codes ranging from 770-778. The briefing sheet also mentions a contingency plan that has been put in place to avoid mail disruptions, as well as the use of other processing locations and coordinating transportation to keep the mail moving.

Congressional briefing sheet: Tropical Depression Imelda

"The Postal Service is continuing to keep you and your staffs updated on the recovery efforts following Tropical Depression Imelda. This information is for the continuing restoration of postal operations within the Houston District, which encompasses ZIP Codes ranging from 770-778.

"We are also sharing the latest developments on our efforts to return to full operations at the North Houston Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC), which had damage, due to a roof collapse on Sept. 19. Our usual format of reporting continues, focusing on: people; property; product and the north Houston plant update.

"People

  • Almost 100% of postal employees have been accounted for in the impacted areas, with the exception of only one employee.
  • Our Postal Inspection Service is assisting with locating the remaining individual.
  • The Postal Service continues to utilize and update our Employee Emergency Hotline (1-888-363-7462) to provide information on where and when employees should report for duty, if their work location is damaged.
  • As we check on employees’ safety and well-being, we are asking questions about any personal damage they may have experienced to their homes, cars, or other property, including any displacement of employees.
  • We continue to provide information on resources, including our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and our Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF); links to those resources are provided in this update.
  • Regular updates are being given to local/national Union representatives and to Management organizations.

"Property

  • We continue to monitor conditions at our various postal locations throughout the area.
  • At this time, only six (6) Post Offices remain temporarily suspended, due to storm damage; links are provided in this update on where customers can find the latest information on their retail and delivery service.
  • Contractors are being deployed to any facility that requires further evaluation.
  • We will continue assessments and remediation of all damage at our facilities and restore normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so.

"Product

  • Most of the embargoes temporarily put in place for specific types of mail sent by our commercial mailers have been lifted in impacted 3-digit ZIP Code areas; a link is provided here where information is posted for business/commercial mailers.
  • The Postal Service is deploying Mobile Retail Units (MRU) where needed; MRUs provide customers the ability to conduct retail transactions via use of a mobile unit, usually located as close as possible to any inaccessible Post Office.
  • Robust contingency plans have been implemented to ensure mail flow is not disrupted and that all mail processing and delivery operations can continue.
  • We are utilizing other processing locations and coordinating transportation to keep the mail moving.

"North Houston P&DC update

  • The North Houston P&DC (the largest processing plant in the nation) has been inspected by structural engineers, who deemed the majority of the building safe to occupy.
  • More than 2,100 dedicated postal employees are back at work at the North Houston processing plant.
  • We are continuing to make progress each day toward a full restoration of operations at the North Houston plant."