UPDATE 5/25/23 1:10 p.m.
Clare County Emergency Management says the Lake and Farwell post offices are now back open, 10 days after a package containing mercury spilled and forced them to shut down.
5/19/23 5 p.m.
The Clare County Emergency Management Office released a statement saying that both post offices are still closed while the mercury spill is investigated:
“The Lake and Farwell Post Offices remain closed yesterday (Thur. May 18). Facility operations continue out of Clare Post Office. WSP USA Solutions (EPPRS Contractors) remain onsite at both locations for testing and cleanup. Delivery operations continue under the COOP and there have been no delays reported. WPS has begun the decontamination process of the mail that has been isolated since Monday in the Lake PO. Further testing will be conducted later today and tomorrow to determine next steps. No injuries reported as of today and since this incident took place.”
5/18/23 7 p.m.
A third post office has been closed that is connected to the mercury spill at another Northern Michigan post office.
Emergency officials confirmed Thursday morning that the post office in Farwell was closed Wednesday due to the mercury leak at the Lake Station Post Office in Clare County.
Officials also say that a second postal worker has been checked out due to a rash that developed in the following days since the leak.
There is still no word on how big the spill was, who sent the package and where it was being shipped to.
The United States Postal Service is still investigating the incident.
UPDATE 5/16/23 6:20 p.m.
Mail delivery has started back up in the area, but two post office locations remain closed indefinitely while the investigation continues since local emergency officials confirmed it was indeed mercury that leaked from a package at the Lake Post Office Monday morning.
Five USPS employees and two workers from a nearby convenience store were isolated because of the spill and later released uninjured. However, one of those postal workers is planning on getting checked out Tuesday because of a rash that developed.
The post office in neighboring Lake George was also closed as officials say it’s on the mail route. The package itself originated from the Detroit area.
The United States Postal Service has taken over the official investigation and is looking into who sent he package, where it was headed and why.
The United States Postal Service has cleanup crews on the scene looking to see how much mercury spilled out, and if other packages were affected.
We are still working to find out when the Lake Post Office and the Lake George Post office will re-open.
5/15/23 8:30 p.m.
Emergency crews were busy Monday morning after a mercury spill at a Clare County post office.
Emergency officials say it happened around 9 a.m. Monday at the Lake Station Post Office near US-10 in Garfield Township, Clare County. They say a worker noticed the spill after they loaded up the mail.
The Director for Clare County’s Emergency Services and Homeland Security, Jerry Becker, praised postal workers for noticing the hazard and making people aware immediately.
Seven people were isolated. Five of them postal workers, and two workers from a nearby convenience store. Before learning of the spill postal workers stopped into the store.
“They’ve closed and isolated the block around the post office and the convenience store adjacent where the employees walked over to,” Becker reports
Local, state and federal officials are all trying to figure out who went the package and where it was headed.
“Because the mail originated from the Detroit terminal they’re going to have to check all locations between [Garfield Township] and the Detroit terminal,” Becker explains.
Fire and hazmat teams are monitoring the people who were exposed and kept them onsite to prevent further contamination. No one is exhibiting symptoms of exposure so far. They are being monitored onsite, rather than risking exposure to others at a hospital.
Becker says the contaminated package may have also affected other people’s mail but says people shouldn’t be alarmed as state and federal officials have isolated the area and contained any mail that may have been contaminated in Garfield Township.
5/15/23 4:20 p.m.
Seven people are in isolation after a possible mercury spill at a post office in Northern Michigan.
Emergency officials say it happened around 9 a.m. Monday at the Lake Station Post Office near US-10 in Garfield Township, Clare County. They say a worker noticed the spill as they were loading up the mail.
Five postal workers were immediately isolated, and two workers from a nearby convenience store are in isolation after postal workers stopped into the store. A home nearby was also evacuated. No one is exhibiting symptoms of exposure so far. They are being monitored onsite, rather than risking exposure to others at a hospital.
No other injuries were reported, and officials say there is no danger to the public. They are currently trying to figure out who sent the package and where it was headed.
Officials say it appears to have been shipped from a hub in the Detroit area. The incident remains under investigation.