Edgartown Post Office closed Friday due to rain leaks

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds — a leaky building is another story.

Construction workers were busy working on the building that houses the Edgartown Post Office Friday afternoon. photo by Sam Moore.

Updated 8 pm, Friday

Acting on the advice of the Edgartown building inspector, the Edgartown Post Office closed shortly after noon on Friday due to rainwater leaking into the building. The post office, located at the Triangle in a building undergoing renovations, is closed until further notice.

“Edgartown Post Office is closed until further notice,” read a sign of the door of the post office Friday afternoon. “Within the next 24 hours we will make arrangements for mail and package pick up. We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your support through this period. Lisa Panaccione, Postmaster.”

In a telephone conversation shortly after the post office closed, Edgartown building inspector Lenny Jason told The Times he had advised a post office supervisor to close up. 

Charles Hajjar, a Boston-based developer, is adding eight second-story apartments in the Post Office Square complex. The Edgartown Post Office and Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank are located in one of the buildings under construction.

Edgartown residents were dismayed by the sudden closure of an institution that prides itself on delivering the mail despite snow, rain, heat or “gloom of night.

Pete Ambroziatis went to the post office Friday afternoon to return a piece of incorrectly addressed mail that ended up in his mail box, but he arrived to find the doors locked.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places and this is the worst post office I’ve ever been to,” he said.

Asked what the problem was, an Edgartown post office employee who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to comment said,  “They didn’t put a roof on.”

As post office patrons came and went Friday afternoon, construction workers were feverishly working on the building in the intermittent drizzle and rain.

Last month, town administrator Pam Dolby told selectmen about a series of leak-related disturbances in the building associated with construction work. The bank previously closed because of leaks, and post office employees have contacted town hall about similar problems.

Ms. Dolby said at the time that post office supervisors were considering a move to a temporary location until the construction problems were resolved.
Mr. Jason said Friday that he is not aware of any planned move.

USPS reacts

Late Friday, Stephen Doherty, a public affairs spokesman in Boston sent the following press release:

The Edgartown Post Office at 236B Vineyard Haven Rd in Edgartown will be closed temporarily due to issues related to water damage incurred as a result of leakage from recent storms while the building is being remodeled. While no firm timetable has been established to reopen the office, the building manager and contractor on site are working with the Postal Service to minimize any inconvenience to our customers.

Retail services are available at the Woods Hole Post Office at 16 Water Street in Woods Hole and at the Vineyard Haven Post Office at 1 Lagoon Pond Rd in Vineyard Haven. The hours for Saturday, April 2, have been extended to 3:00 p.m. in Woods Hole and 4:30 p.m. in Vineyard Haven to accommodate additional customers.

Post Office box holders from the Edgartown Post Office will be able to retrieve their mail and packages at the Vineyard Haven Post Office at 1 Lagoon Pond Rd. in Vineyard Haven until the Edgartown station reopens.

Box holders should bring proper identification to the Vineyard Haven Post Office when retrieving their mail. We thank our Martha’s Vineyard customers for their cooperation and their patience as we work to remedy this issue.

Customers with questions or comments about their mail service can call toll-free 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or send an e-mail to the Postal Service by following the prompts on the Contact Us page at USPS.com.