On Your Side: Excessive post office heat frustrates workers, customers

The Mandarin Post office has been without air conditioning for two months. They learned it will be another eight weeks before it's fix.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Air conditioning problems at a post office on Sunbeam Road in Mandarin have customers and federal employees heated. 

A clerk, who asked not to be identified, told First Coast News the facility's air conditioning has been out for two months and they recently learned repairs would take an additional eight weeks.

Customers standing in long lines for 30 to 45 minutes say the conditions seem unbearable.

"It's murder, its insufferable. I don't see how anyone can stay in there for any length of time," said Pamela Wodu as she exited the building. "It's a 108 heat index and inside with no air conditioning and no windows, everybody is fanning, I don't see how public workers or anyone can stand that all day."

A thermometer reading inside the building showed 85 degree temperatures around 4 p.m. A reading inside the employee work area reached 90 degrees. 

"It's extremely hot," said customer Kristina Doolittle as she finished a postal transaction. "The thoughts that were going through my head was, 'at least I can leave, however, the employees are stuck there.'"

USPS representative Kanickewa Johnson said in a statement:

The safety and well-being of all postal employees and customers is of paramount importance to the Postal Service. Currently, there is work being performed on the HVAC system at the Mandarin Post Office. Since work began, temporary air conditioning units and industrial fans have been placed on site to cool the facility. New replacement units are expected to be installed in August 2017.  We appreciate our customers’ business and their patience as we continue to successfully resolve this situation.

The anonymous clerk said only fans have been installed, not temporary air conditioners, but even the fans do little to beat the heat inside. The clerk said they hope the new August 2017 deadline USPS provided First Coast News will be their reality. 

"It's hard on our mail carriers who are coming in from outside," the clerk said. "It's hard on our elderly customers, and there's not much else we can do for them."

UPDATE: On Thursday, Aug. 17, USPS contacted First Coast News and said a contractor was on site to make additional repairs to cool down the building while it works for a permanent solution.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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