Three Days After Mercury Spill, Still No Mail for Some in DFW

If you checked your mail Friday and the box was empty, you are not alone.

People across the metroplex have told us, they are still not getting mail three days after a hazmat spill shut down the U.S. Postal Service distribution and processing center in Coppell.

It all started Tuesday morning when a mailed package containing mercury spilled. Our media partners at KRLD report that it was four gallons worth of mercury, but the USPS currently will not confirm.

That day, employees were told to get screened when leaving the building and to put their clothes and shoes in a plastic bag outside their home, while they waited for further instruction. Mail was temporarily redirected and workers were assigned to different locations nearby.

Albert Ruiz, a USPS spokesperson, said all mail is being kept safe and secure and will be delivered as soon as possible. As of late Friday afternoon, the Coppell center was still shutdown.

When asked when people could expect the facility to open back up and mail operations to return to normal, he had few answers.

“They are still closed today and no update as to when it will reopen," Ruiz said.

A mailman out on deliveries in Carrollton told us he only had packages. He said it is mostly letters that are affected.

Ty and Cindy Walsworth run a branding business from their North Carrollton home. They rely on "snail mail" for client contracts and payments, so they can pay vendors. The couple has not received anything since Tuesday. They are worried about the delays as well as the safety of the letters once they arrive.

"I don't want to have to stand with rubber gloves in front of my mailbox to open up checks that I hope are safe to go into a bank,” Cindy Walsworth said.

The Walsworths said the past few days in limbo, have been stressful. 

"It's very hard. It makes me glad that we're fortunate that we have a cushion right now, but there have been times where there are leaner months that you don't have the cushion,” Cindy Walsworth said.

We have also heard from residents in Rockwall, Garland, Lewisville and Grand Prairie. All said it has been days since their mail has been delivered.

As for the mercury package, we asked a mail inspector whether there is a criminal investigation underway. He said he could not comment on this case, other than to say that anyone mailing hazardous materials could face civil or criminal penalties.

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