New Compton, Ark., post office building up but not open
It's a present Janet Hickman and her neighbors have been waiting for.
"A good Thanksgiving and Christmas gift to all the people at Compton," Hickman said.
A gift that took some patience to receive.
The old post office burned down in May 2018, and many people lost their mail in the fire.
"My medicine was there, and I had a couple of bills that were there," said Donna Griffith, who lives near Compton.
Investigators still don't know what caused the fire.
In the meantime, people who got their mail in Compton had to drive to Ponca, about eight miles away.
"It is a very steep mountain," Hickman said. "And coming back up, you never know if you're going to meet a big truck coming down sideways. It's a scary ride. In the winter time the ice and snow are scary."
Limited hours in Ponca made a post office run even more of a challenge.
"By the time we get down to Ponca a lot of days they're closed," Hickman said.
Neighbors said it's been a frustrating 19 months.
Even though the new building is up, the doors are still locked.
"All they show is the completion date. They don't show a date for opening," Griffith said.
That completion date is December 24: Christmas Eve.
But neighbors are hopeful good things come to those who wait.
"We're thankful they're finally getting it in here," Griffith said.
A representative with the U.S. Postal Service said there’s no set date yet on when the building will be open.