SALEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Just before the final holiday rush, the Salem Post Office suffered a ceiling collapse Friday morning. Salem Volunteer Fire Department 1st Assistant Chief Steven Saunders told NEWS10 the interior ceiling fell around 7 a.m. Friday due to a negative pressure effect.
“We do have the carriers all loading up,” Sharon Larkin, Post Office Operations Manager for Northern Upstate New York, said. “We’ll take all our parcels and stuff like that out so we can get them home for the holidays and then tomorrow if we get the clearance to come back into our facility we can get all your letters, magazines and such out to you as well as any other parcels that came in today.”
The collapse could have been sparked by recent freeze-thaw cycles. Freezing rain can quickly saturate a building’s roof before solidifying into ice. This can lead to expansion and cracks, due to the high tension placed on the structure.
No one was injured. Assistant Chief Saunders said the roof of the post office is still standing. However, the interior ceiling collapse blew out several windows.
“There was an exterior window on the rear of the holding that was missing and with the amount of wind we had, it just went in and created that negative effect which sucked it up into the air and dropped it all on them,” Saunders said.
As for Christmas operations, Larkin said there should be little interruption but they are asking people to be patient if deliveries are late.
“It’s never a good time but we’ve got the crew, spirits are high and we are going to take care of the community like we always do and we would appreciate a little patience and understanding,” Larkin said.
Larkin said customers can come to the loading dock in the back of the building to get their packages if they choose. The post office is located at 12 West Broadway, in Salem.