UPDATE: Polk Co. residents asked to use Benton Postal Office unt - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Polk Co. residents asked to use Benton Postal Office until further notice

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Residents in Ocoee are still picking up the pieces after an EF3 tornado hit the area last Tuesday.

A volunteer fire department, post office and several homes were destroyed in the storm. The community hopes to rebuild. 

Until further notice, Ocoee customers have been asked to use the post office in Benton Tennessee.
 
"I'm trying to hold on," said tornado victim Clara Dalton. " It's not easy but I've got a lot of kids and they're helping me." 

Clara Dalton is one of many displaced after Tuesday's EF3 tornado. She met Channel 3 at the Benton post office Monday, where she now do a change of address.

Officials are asking anyone who is displaced to file a hold request on their mail or change of address. 

"There's nothing there just nothing there," said one resident. "People has come together like I've never seen before."

Residents say they're proud of the volunteers and the crews who continue to clean up the damage. 

"I'm proud of everybody." said one resident. 

"It looks like we're in the neighborhood of 40 houses that are damaged and about half of those are major or destroyed," said Chief of Emergency Management Richard Taylor, Polk County. 

Taylor explains the best way you can help. 

"We have a tremendous amount of donated items going to people helping people so we've shut down our county receiving of donations of any type like that," said Taylor. "We are still taking monetary donations.... that all goes to First Tennessee Bank for the Ocoee Disaster Fund." 

The county plans to rebuild the West Polk Volunteer Fire station that was destroyed. In fact,  crews are on their way to pick up another fire truck donated to the county from a department in Kentucky. 
 
"Right now we've repositioned equipment to other stations and we're just having to respond further into this area," said Taylor. 

Postal service officials say it's too early to tell if the post office will rebuild or not  and while employees collected all of the mail from the scene, they can't promise it's all there.

For now, Clara Dalton says she's okay with that.

"Well it'd be my cable bill and electric bill ..thank goodness nothing too important or anything like that," said Dalton. "I'm lucky,  one of the lucky ones." 

If after 7 business days, your mail or package hasn't arrived, submit a Missing Mail Search Request at USPS.com with the following information:

  • Sender mailing address
  • Recipient mailing address
  • Size and type of container or envelope you used
  • Identifying information such as your USPS Tracking number
  • Pictures and/or a description of the contents 
  • If you used a service with a money-back guarantee such as Priority Mail Express, you may be able to request a refund.
  • If your mail or package included insurance, you may be able to file an insurance claim.
  • For damaged or missing contents, officials recommend filing a claim immediately, but you must file no later than 60 days from the date of mailing

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