Mercury found at Chesapeake post office

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 18:05:36-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The Chesapeake Hazardous Materials Team is working to remove a small amount of mercury found at a post office in the city.

Postal workers at the U.S. Post Office located at 4417 Portsmouth Boulevard called firefighters just before noon Thursday. Employees became concerned after finding a small amount of a metallic-like substance in the building.

The city's HAZMAT team was called to the scene to evaluate the material, and they determined it to be mercury.

The building was evacuated, and no employees were exposed to the material.

Officials don't know how the mercury was spilled, but they say there are currently no suspicious factors.

A clean-up contractor will remove the mercury and test the building to make sure it is safe for people to go back inside.

Chesapeake residents should take note there may be potential delays to local mail delivery; details should come from the Postmaster regarding service interruptions.

The USPS released the following statement on the facility's closure:

The Postal Service’s first priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees. Out of an abundance of caution, the Postal Service closed the facility Thursday due to a mercury spill that was limited to a small area of the facility. The local hazard materials unit has been on-site to determine the extent of the spill and will conduct cleanup operations and verify that no health risk exists after the cleanup. Their preliminary results appear favorable and we anticipate the facility will reopen soon.

Mail will be delivered from other nearby facilities. We expect mail delivery operations should return to normal beginning Saturday. We appreciated customers’ patience and understanding and are grateful no harm has come to any employee during this incident.

Stay with News 3 for updates.