Edgartown Post Office temporarily shifts service to Vineyard Haven

The Postal Service said retail service is available in Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole while the Edgartown site is closed due to water damage.

A sign on the door announces the post office is closed until further notice.

With the Edgartown Post Office closed temporarily due to water damage from a leaking roof, postal officials late Friday advised postal box customers that they may pick up mail and packages at the Vineyard Haven Post Office on Lagoon Avenue. The Vineyard Haven Post Office, which normally closes at 1 pm, will remain open until 4:30 pm, Saturday, according to a press release.

Apparently unmindful of Martha’s Vineyard geography, the Postal Service also said retail services are also available at the Woods Hole Post Office at 16 Water Street in Woods Hole where hours have been extended to 3 pm.

Acting on the advice of Edgartown building inspector Lenny Jason, the Edgartown Post Office closed shortly after noon on Friday due to rainwater leaking into the building as a result of construction. Charles Hajjar, a Boston-based developer, is adding eight second-story apartments in the Post Office Square complex which includes the building that houses the Edgartown Post Office and Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

“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.”

Early Friday evening, Stephen Doherty, a U.S. Post Office communications specialist for the Northeast provided 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.

No roof

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.