People in Ocoee still waiting for post office to reopen - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

People in Ocoee still waiting for post office to reopen

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A year after the Ocoee, TN, post office was destroyed by a tornado, many people still have to go out of their way to get their mail. Dozens of people who live in Ocoee's service area have had to pick up their mail at the Benton post office, six and a half miles from the Benton location.

Michael Price is one of these people. He's been using a P.O. box for several years and says coming to Benton has been a bit of a hassle.

"It takes a little extra time and convenience of gas and everything like that. So, yeah, it would be a lot more convenient if we had our own post office back," Price says.

He's been checking his mail only twice a week because he lives in Oldfort, about 10 miles away. With some traffic and low-speed limits, it can take a while.

"About 20 minutes, 20-30 minutes," Price adds. "You could be doing something else."

A new post office appears to have been built where the old one was, but no mail is coming in or going out.

U.S. Postal Service officials are still sorting out the details on the project.

Their statement simply says, "The postal service continues to work with the landlord to address the design requirements and space needs for the rebuilding of this facility."

The postmaster at the Benton office says Ocoee's mail carrier has been running her route from the Benton office since the tornado.

Price has to drive further to get his mail compared to people from Ocoee. The silver lining is his schedule's fairly flexible, but this isn't true for everyone.

"I can come at different times of the day. So, not so much for me, but it might be for others, it could be a problem for them," Price says.

We asked when the new post office could open, but no one in Polk County or with the Postal Service seems to know. When a timeline is set, we'll let you know.

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