Dana Hertnecky, News 9

TUSSY, Oklahoma -- The U.S. Postal Service announced it was closing as many as 2,000 post offices across the nation and will look into shutting down thousands more, but the news may hit hardest in rural areas where the local post office is more than just a place where you get your mail.

The town of Tussy Oklahoma has had a post office since the late 1800s and for 100 years, it was a vital economic and social part of the community.

Wanda Garrett has lived in Tussy since 1947.

"We gather at the post office, and we get news so and so is sick or so and so did this," Garrett said.

But Tussy has since shrunk to a population of 46, and recently the U.S. Postal Service closed the Tussy Post Office. Now 2,000 towns and communities may suffer the same fate.

The Wall Street Journal reported the postal service wants to close 2,000 post offices, on top of the 491 it announced at the end of last year. In addition, it is reviewing another 16,000 of the nation's existing post offices that are losing money-- all in hopes of reversing the $8.5 billion in losses the postal service suffered last year.

Garrett said she understands the financial aspect of the closure, but for her, the loss of the Tussy Post Office has meant changing her address and lost mail, including important letters from her doctor.

"When I called them they said we've been writing you letters and they come back to us, and even some of my Christmas cards they sent back, and it's a sign that the sun is indeed setting on Tussy's heyday," Garrett said.

The postal service is government owned but it's also an independent agency. It's supposed to support itself with postage fees, but when that doesn't happen the postal service borrows money from federal coffers.

The following is a list of some of the locations that are set to close in Oklahoma:

  • Cardin, Cardin OK 74335
  • University Mailing Center, Enid OK 73701
  • State Capitol, Oklahoma City OK 73105
  • Picher, Picher OK 74360
  • Rentiesville, Rentiesville OK 74459
  • Spencerville, Spencerville OK 74760
  • Tussy Tussy, OK 73488