The post has been updated with a comment from the U.S. Postal Service.
People in Napakiak are getting desperate for mail, and the lack of postal service is becoming an issue. The village’s post office has been closed for the past two weeks, with no relief in sight. That means they can’t get medications that are flown out from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, or pay bills through the mail, or get checks to pay for basic needs like fuel and food, according to Napakiak City Administrator Leo Kusayak.
"You might say we’re in dire need for a postmaster," Kusayak said.
Napakiak's current postmaster has been on maternity leave for the past two weeks, and the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t found a replacement yet. Walter Nelson is a resident of Napakiak. His mother uses several different medications for high blood pressure and other health issues, and her medicine supply is getting low.
"It’s just not only that, you know. We’ve been getting quite a few calls, you know. Our bills are getting behind, you know. I don’t believe, you know, that mail has gone out for phone bills, any bills," Nelson said.
Nelson and Kusayak say that the Anchorage USPS headquarters tried to fly out replacements from other villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but bad weather canceled those trips.
In an email, a USPS spokesperson says they are trying to get a replacement out on Wednesday.
"We will continue to do so twice a week, weather permitting, until our staffing is back to normal."
Kusayak says that USPS is aware of their situation, but it’s unclear when Napakiak residents will be able to get their mail.
An earlier version of the article misspelled Kusayak.