By Juanice Gray

Closed, but (hopefully) only temporarily. That is what the 44 Powhatan residents who utilize the services of their local post office, at left, want to hear. Postmaster Sharla Hathorn, who also is postmaster at the Coushatta Main Post Office, said the building was under a “temporary emergency suspension due to safety issues.”

The problem? The modular building is located in a low-lying area and has always been plagued by water issues. “There has been water up to 12 inches under the building at times,” Hathorn said. “This caused problems with bugs and the moisture barrier material under the building dropped which in turn caused some tiles inside, especially in the harder hit areas, to start popping loose.”

Hathorn said the back wall was replaced just last year because of rot caused by moisture. The 44 residents who rent post office boxes mail now must travel to the Natchitoches Downtown Post Office located on St. Denis Street to retrieve their mail. No route customers were affected since the Natchitoches branch was already serving those routes.

Hathorn said an outsourced contractor has begun repairs on the Powhatan office and have already installed a sump pump to combat the water problem. The office has one employee and was open from 9-11 a.m. weekdays.