A putrid odor filled the South Jamesport post office Friday afternoon, forcing the building to close its doors and suspend service until further notice, a spokesperson confirmed Monday.
“It closed early in the day,” Maureen Marion, a regional United States Postal Service spokesperson said during a telephone interview. “By 1 p.m., they knew they had to pull the plug.”
Officials suspect the odor was caused by an animal that died beneath the building, possibly in the floor. “It may be more than one. It could be a nest,” Ms. Marion said. “We’re trying to get to the source.”
On Monday morning, a crew was observed assessing the situation but had not yet determined what kind of animal caused the stench.
Ms. Marion said the crews would rip up the floor, repair any damage and sanitize the building, which could take several days. “I expect it will be back up and running by the end of the week,” she said.
The post office, on Second Street in South Jamesport, was built in 1907 and has 279 mailboxes, Ms. Marion said. It does not make deliveries.
In the meantime, post office employees’ and customers’ mail have been rerouted to the Jamesport Post Office on Route 25.
“It was clearly an urgency right away, once you opened the door,” Ms. Marion said, describing the odor. “It was more than our employees should bear and not something our customers would enjoy. It’s important for everybody’s wellbeing that we get it addressed.”