Dutchtown's post office open for business again

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com Dutchtown postmaster Mindy Lemons talked with Jim Seyer in the Dutchtown Post Office on Monday. It was the first day of business since the March floods forced its closure.

The Dutchtown post office opened to customers Monday morning for the first time since its evacuation March 18 due to the flood that temporarily ousted 15 families from their homes in the village of 99 people.

For two and a half months, residents picked up their packages from the post office in Gordonville four and a half miles away, where all Dutchtown mail was rerouted until the flood repairs could be completed, said Mindy Lemons, postmaster at Dutchtown.

Residents are excited to have their own post office up and running, Lemons said.

"The town's thrilled to have us back," she said.

About 40 people gathered in the parking lot of the post office Monday morning for the re-opening. They celebrated with an enormous vanilla sheet cake emblazoned with the United States Postal Service logo.

Lemons said she's happy to be working in Dutchtown again. During the closure, she had an hour commute to the post office in Gipsy, Mo.

Having the post office back in Dutchtown is much more convenient than driving to Gordonville, said Shirley Moss of Dutchtown.

FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com Dutchtown postmaster Mindy Lemons talked with Jim Seyer on Monday in the Dutchtown Post Office. It was the first day of business since the March floods forced its closure.

Voyann Smith, owner of the building that houses the post office, said the re-opening represents a sign that things are looking up, and is an emblem of the town's survival. The reopening of the post office was key to the town's retention of its 63745 ZIP code.

"It means the town is still a town," Smith said.

The building that houses the post office suffered significant damage from over a foot of water that made its way inside during the flood. Drywall, flooring and insulation in the building all had to be replaced, Smith said.

The flood, which led residents to consider a buyout after 11 inches of rain in mid-March flooded the Diversion Channel, has been hard on everyone, 14-year Dutchtown resident Angie Crutsinger said.

"I'd almost say it's worse than a fire or a tornado, because you actually have to go through your stuff and throw everything away, whereas with a fire, it's just gone," she said.

A funding package to finance the estimated $3 million levee that would provide the residents of Dutchtown with permanent protection from flooding of the four streams the Diversion Channel collects is in the works.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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