Flooding closes Olema post office

03/13/2019

Last month’s storms flooded the Olema post office and led to its temporary closure; since then, box holders have been making their way two miles up Highway 1 to retrieve their mail in Point Reyes Station. United States Postal Service spokesperson Augustine Ruiz said he expects the Olema office to re-open in 60 days, though facilities workers are still assessing the damage. According to Mr. Ruiz, there are no records of past flooding at the post office, but postal workers and residents have said the site floods nearly every year due to the rising waters of Olema Creek, which borders the property, and two drainage ditches that run through it. “The creek itself has silted up over five feet in the last 15 years I’ve lived here,” said Amanda Eichstaedt, an Olema homeowner. “Residents are worried about the fact that flooding is worsening in that floodplain area because [the creek is] coming up more and more every year.” Ms. Eichstaedt said the Army Corps of Engineers used to dredge the creek; now, with the waterway recognized as habitat for endangered coho salmon, dredging is likely off the table. In 2016, Point Reyes National Seashore spokesperson John Dell’Osso told the Light that any dredging of the creek—which is managed by the seashore in coordination with state and federal agencies—would be a lengthy and expensive process. He predicted the area around the campground—and the adjacent post office—would eventually revert to marshland.