WASHINGTON (AP) - The post office set up locations Thursday for residents of the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina to pick up their first-of-the-month checks.
Officials say they are no longer accepting magazines or bulk mail for delivery to the damaged area.
Dozens of post offices are closed and mail service is suspended in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. But officials say they are working to get mail to people.
Deputy Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe says vital mail includes such things as Social Security and pension checks, paychecks, insurance forms and medicine shipped by mail.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and Donahoe urges them to contact the post office with their new address, even if it is temporary.
First-class mail for New Orleans is currently being held in Dallas and will be forwarded from there.