NAPLES, Fla. — The smallest post office in the United States survived one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded.
Hurricane Irma, which swept through Southwest Florida on Sunday, was no match for the 61-square-foot post office in Ochopee, which resumed operations Friday.
"It lost power temporarily and that was it," said Enola Rice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.
Shannon Mitchell, the post office's clerk, runs the tiny operation. She, like many others in the area, lost her home to the ferocious storm.
"It is a total loss," Rice said. "The water was up to her windowsill."
Mitchell has since stayed with neighbors but reopened the post office, located on Tamiami Trail, on Friday.
Ochopee has one 131-mile mail route that serves more than 900 residents. The mail route covers deliveries in three counties — Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier — and includes delivery on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation.
The tiny building used to serve as a storage shed for irrigation pipes for a nearby tomato farm but was pressed into service as post office after the Ochopee general store and post office was destroyed in a fire in 1953.
Now it's a tourist destination, with people traveling to see the nation's smallest post office and send a piece of mail from USPS site 1842US.
Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET and from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.