Hurricane Dennis Slows Postal Operations in the South

Postal facilities in the South recovered from the effects of Hurricane Dennis yesterday as the downgraded storm made its way to the Ohio River Valley.

Dennis made landfall Sunday afternoon near Pensacola, FL, and headed toward Alabama. Hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, tornadoes and flooding left more than 500,000 Alabama and Florida homes without power.

According to a service update on the U.S. Postal Service's Web site, facilities in the storm's path were closed Friday and Saturday as the storm went past the Florida Keys and up the Gulf Coast. As of yesterday, all suspensions and closures were lifted in South Florida, and operations were back to normal.

At noon yesterday, the postal service's Pensacola Processing and Distribution Center (ZIP code 325) remained without power, and drop shipments were suspended. Power remained out to most post offices and stations in the 325 ZIP code area. Until power is restored, post office box, delivery and retail services are limited or suspended.

In the Pensacola area, Niceville, Shalimar, Crestview and Valparaiso have power, and P.O. box, delivery and retail services were gradually being restored. The Panama City processing and distribution center begins accepting drop-shipment appointments tomorrow.

In Alabama, the Montgomery plant (ZIP codes 360-361, 368 and 367) and Mobile plant (ZIP codes 363-366) expect to accept drop-shipment appointments tomorrow. More than 50 post offices in the state were without power yesterday.

In Mississippi, the Gulfport processing and distribution center remained open throughout the storm, but road closures limited access. The USPS said all plants were operating in the Atlanta, South Georgia and Tennessee districts, though some offices had power outages and flooding.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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