RUSK — Everything is back to normal at the Rusk post office after three-fourths of the roof fell in on Monday afternoon.
Postmaster Judy Wagner said the incident happened around 1:30 p.m.
“Everything is OK and no one was hurt,” she said. “They don't know the cause of it. They can only speculate. It could be the work they are doing across the road or it could have been the fact that (the building) was built in the 1930s and it is old. None of us will ever know.”
The collapse put a damper on operations on Tuesday as a crew worked to get the mess cleaned up and the remaining portion of the ceiling removed. Residents with post office boxes were redirected to the back of the building to claim their letters and carriers worked from the Jacksonville office for the day.
The cleanup was completed around 8 p.m. Tuesday and the office was back in business at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
“People have been coming in and looking at it, and we have had, oh 300 people say, 'oh, why did you take the roof down,'” Wagner said.
And the spectacle has actually helped the flow of mail operations, Wagner said.
“Everyone has gotten their mail,” she said. “It was kind of nice because people who don't usually pick up their mail came today to take a look at it, so we actually emptied a bunch of boxes.”
Wagner said the cave-in caused surprisingly little damage and did not harm the floor or scratch a historic mural on one of the walls.
“It could have been really, really bad but it wasn't, so we can smile about that,” she said.
In the mean time, the office will have a higher electric bill to cool the now 20-foot ceiling, although the roof is not leaking or damaged.
The office plans to maintain the history of building and construct a new ceiling that mirrors the previous one, Wagner said.
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