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Pahoa Post Office to stay open until Civil Defense orders to vacate


Pahoa Post Office Lava Evacuation Plan (12/30/14)

By Story and video by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

On Tuesday (Dec. 30) U.S. Postal Service (USPS) officals met with residents at the Pahoa Post Office to discuss contingency plans should the facility be vacated due the lava flow.

In the event of a post office closure, Pahoa mail would be directed to a contingency site in Keaau.

Duke Gonzales, Communications Specialist for USPS, from Honolulu said operations would continue out of the Pahoa Post Office until they are told to vacate by Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Gonzales said the office would remain open with mail delivery even if carrier vehicles needed to use the alternate routes should Highway 130 be severed by the lava flow.

Chuck Lum, Safety Manager for USPS, said postal staff checked on the alternate routes and it would not pose a problem for their vehicles.

The office could be asked to vacate due to air quality issues and/or the lava flow itself.

The current Pahoa Post Office services close to 2,500 post office boxes and is on leased land. Although the USPS owns a piece of property in Pahoa it is South of the current projected path of the Kilauea June 27th Lava Flow negating a possible move there.

In October, USPS issued a notice saying Pahoa Post Office box holders would need to go to the Hilo Post Office to get their mail deliveries, that plan has been changed with this annoucement.

Dean Cameron, Real Estate Specialist for USPS out of San Francisco, said a lease has been signed for a site in the W.H. Shipman Business Park just north of Keaau town as a relocation site for the Pahoa Post Office. Post Office box holders would have their mail delivered there.

The site at Shipman was chosen due to its proximity to Puna. The Keaau Post Office could not accomodate the extra post office boxes from Pahoa due to limited space, according to Alton Uyetake, Postmaster at Keaau.

The USPS has not made any plans for drop-off sites for outgoing mail should the facility relocate to Keaau but will be considering it.

Cameron said if the public would like to make suggestions regarding these contingency plans they can email him at dean.cameron@usps.gov and they can also speak to postal officials at the community lava meetings held at Pahoa High School.

2 Responses to “Pahoa Post Office to stay open until Civil Defense orders to vacate”

  1. Philip says:

    Aloha, I think the location in Keauu is a wrong choice. You should have a place on the south side of the flow for those living down on the south side of the flow. It will be inconvenient and too far for so many to try to get to Keauu. Please reconsider your new location.

    • Doug Pase says:

      Having only ONE replacement would be the “wrong” choice. There are a large number of people and businesses, on BOTH sides of the flow, who are supported by the Pahoa Post Office. If a single replacement site is chosen, a large group will be hugely inconvenienced. W.H. Shipman Park is fine for those on the north side of the flow, but not on the south. The current building in Pahoa is great for those on the south side of the flow, but not the north. There needs to be two sites, one on each side of the flow.

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