August 21, 2023
All USPS employees on Maui have been accounted for after wildfires engulfed large swaths of the Hawaiian island this month, the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.
Seven postal workers lost their homes, and the homes of two others were damaged.
The town of Lahaina — once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom — was hit especially hard. Two Post Offices closed in the immediate aftermath: The Downtown Station was destroyed and will not reopen in the foreseeable future; the Main Post Office reopened Aug. 19, but without retail services.
“Despite the hardships they are experiencing, Maui postal employees are committed to resuming their roles as essential service providers,” said Duke Gonzales, strategic communications specialist for Hawaii District.
“Less formally, but more important, they provided them with immediate and unconditional practical and emotional support, demonstrating to them their aloha spirit and postal pride,” Gonzales said.
Drought conditions, low humidity and winds from Hurricane Dora, a Category 4 storm 500 miles to the south in the central Pacific Ocean, all helped fuel the blazes, which were concentrated in the island’s west, south and central areas.
A pressure gradient between the low pressure of the hurricane and the high pressure north of the island was also cited as a factor in creating stronger winds, abetting the fires’ spread.
President Joe Biden issued a disaster declaration on Aug. 10, mobilizing federal aid to assist with state and local recovery efforts.
Winds from the hurricane also sparked brush fires on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Additional service updates are available on usps.com.