Rockaway Goes Postal: Gates Down For Three Days At RB PO
Bewildered customers passed back and forth in front of the Rockaway Beach Post Office from Monday, April 22nd, through Wednesday, April 25th. Many were frustrated to find the post office unexpectedly closed on those days.
Residents had no access to services or mail/package pick up during that time.
One man, displaced to Brooklyn by the storm, was concerned about a package he was waiting for. His Blackberry confirmed that it was indeed waiting for him inside, but he had no way of getting to it.
Contacted on Monday, officials at the main post office on Mott Avenue stated the office was closed that day due to there being no Postal Police guard.
However, when reached on Wednesday afternoon, a postal spokesperson at the Mott Avenue PO stated, “We have no comment on that.”
Earlier in the day a new sign appeared on the front gate and window at Rockaway Beach apologizing for any inconvenience and stating the closure was due to “security reasons.”
Previously one disappointed customer stated she waited for two hours earlier in the day, then came back and then later came back again.
“I’m expecting a certified letter that I have to respond to,” she said. Stating a ‘post office closed’ sign had just been put up, she said “This is crazy!”
Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder, who contacted the U.S. Postal Service directly, stated explained, “Apparently postal regulations require they have a safety glass partition between the staff and the customers.
“When the post offices here were rebuilt and re-opened, this had not been installed.
“That being said, I don’t see any reason that there should be any break in services now. It’s unacceptable”.
Congressmen Charles Schumer and Gregory Meeks were also in contact with postal officials, attempting to get the issue resolved.
In the meantime, many in the area were concerned about not receiving important notices, bills, insurance payments and other needed funds in a timely fashion. They also worried about payments and also sending out, important documents and official correspondence, some of it related to Sandy recovery.
On Thursday, April 25th, USPS contacted Schumer to advise the branch was re-opened with an armed postal inspector on-duty.
A visual inspection confirmed the branch was indeed open again.
As one woman who made several trips to the still closed post office said, “With everything that’s happened, with the hurricane, isn’t this enough?”