McMECHEN - Employees once again unfurled an American flag outside the McMechen post office as the facility reopened Monday morning.
The office had been closed for almost two months due to a Jan. 26 fire in the basement of the two-story building it occupies. According to the building's owner, Patricia Renzella, the fire was electrical in nature. She said a water pipe broke in the post office restroom and leaked down the walls into the basement, where it got into some wiring.
"Since then we've changed all the wiring and repainted everything," Renzella said Monday. "I was really trying to get them open as quick as I could."
Photo by Daniel Dorsch
Postal Service employee Darla A. Ebbert works behind the counter at the newly reopened McMechen post office on Monday.
Renzella said crews worked quickly and efficiently to finish the necessary repairs to make the office usable again. She said the cleanup and repair work had actually been done for at least two weeks, but she was waiting for the postmaster to decide when to reopen the office.
Wheeling Postmaster Randall Link said very little damage resulted from the fire, so once Renzella finished repairs, the office was able to reopen quickly.
"We appreciate everyone's patience," Link said.
"I know the people will be happy to see their post office open again," Renzella added.
Darla A. Ebbert, a postal employee for more than 25 years, said she was very pleased to be back in operation along Marshall Street in McMechen.
"The public is very happy to have us open up here," Ebbert said, as several customers visited the office Monday.
While repairs were carried out, responsibility for McMechen mail service was assigned to the Benwood post office. Mail carriers continued to deliver mail to residents at their homes, while post office box and shipping services were handled in Benwood. No employees of either office lost their jobs as a result of the temporary closure.
The McMechen post office continues to operate under the hours adopted last year. A USPS employee will work at a window to serve customers daily from 8 a.m. until noon, with the lobby remaining open for independent shipping business until 5 p.m. On Saturdays, the window is open from 9 a.m. until noon, with the lobby opening at 8 a.m. and closing at noon.