The Edgartown post office will temporarily relocate to the former town library on North Water street in the next few weeks as town officials, the postal service and the building owner work to assess water damage that has left the post office closed since last Friday.

Greater Boston postal district manager Mike Powers made the decision to move to the recently-vacated library Thursday after assessing a temporary setup in Vineyard Haven and the damage to the post office stemming from a half-finished construction project. He called the damage to the building extensive.

“I was very disappointed with what I saw, to be honest with you,” Mr. Powers told the Gazette. “It was a total gut of the building. When you have the ceiling, the walls, the insulation being ripped out of the lobby, I think that speaks for itself.” He said there will be further assessment in the coming days as to structural integrity of the building, which will help to determine what needs to be done to reopen the post office.

The new location is the latest development in a week of scrambling and tension after the closure of the town’s main post office, where more than 3,000 postal customers get their mail at post office boxes. The postal service delivers to just more than 1,100 addresses in Edgartown on two rural delivery routes, a postal service spokesman said. Many residents and businesses rely on postal boxes to receive mail.

Customers had been rerouted to Vineyard Haven Post Office. — Kathy Agin

A construction project has been underway to build five apartments on the second floor of the building that houses the post office and a Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank branch. The savings bank is also closed due to water damage.

The building is owned by Charles Hajjar, a Milton real estate developer who is a summer resident of Oak Bluffs. Mr. Hajjar has a number of real estate investment interests on the Vineyard, including at the Triangle.

The post office and bank are tenants in the building there. The post office was briefly closed twice in March because of rain leaks. The problem intensified late last week with heavy rainfall. Edgartown building inspector Leonard Jason Jr. said that he and the town wiring inspector visited the post office last Friday to find the ceiling saturated and parts coming down. “I advised the powers that be, the [post office] regional supervisor . . . I told him if it was me I would close the building.” He continued:

“It’s a situation you usually try to avoid. Left wide open to the weather, things don’t do well.”

The postal service announced operations would temporarily shift to the Vineyard Haven Post Office. Expanded retail hours were announced for Edgartown residents at the Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole post offices; postal service spokesmen later revised the statement to replace Woods Hole with Oak Bluffs.

If you remove the roof, rainwater will come in. — Sara Brown

Edgartown box holders were able to retrieve their mail at a dedicated space in the lobby of the post office. Early in the week some mail remained in post office boxes in Edgartown as employees worked to shift all the mail from one location to the other.

A postal service spokesman said he was not aware of any mail being damaged in the process or by water leaks.

At the selectmen’s meeting Monday, the problems were the main topic of discussion, with reports of parking issues, long lines and postal workers scrambling to find mail in makeshift boxes labeled with box numbers. The town accountant, Kimberly Kane, noted important documents go through the mail this time of year, including absentee ballots and tax and sewer bills.

Relocating to the former library was the best option for the post office, Mr. Powers said later in the week.

“I think that’s a desirable choice at this point given the crazy situation that’s occurring relative to the Edgartown post office,” he said. “Vineyard Haven is not desirable from my standpoint and certainly not from a customer standpoint.

“Our next step is to put together a plan to make that happen.”

The former Edgartown library, also known as the Carnegie library, was recently vacated as the library moved to a new location. The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust is the new owner of the building. “We certainly recognize that this is a real emergency for this community,” preservation trust executive director Chris Scott told the Gazette Thursday. “The trust wants to be as helpful as we can be.”

Post Office was closed twice in March; problems intensified in April — Sara Brown

He said it is his understanding that the temporary arrangement will be until June at the latest.

“I don’t believe that anything permanent is going to be installed in the Carnegie,” Mr. Scott said. “I don’t think it needs to be. There are lots of shelves . . . . they can sort mail by fiction or nonfiction.”

Mr. Powers said mail that had been taken from Edgartown to Vineyard Haven will now be sent back to Edgartown. There will be staging and storage work to make sure customers can efficiently get their mail, he said.

“Our main focus right now is just to get a better situation for mail pickup in Edgartown,” he said. “We’re establishing the best situation we can out of this.” He praised the efforts of the town and postal employees.

“We have dedicated employees who go above and beyond and we appreciate all their efforts. Our sole focus is to take care of our customers,” Mr. Powers said.

Town administrator Pamela Dolby and other town officials have been working throughout the week to resolve the situation. On Thursday morning a meeting was held at the post office with the Mr. Hajjar, the building owner, and town officials, including health agent Matt Poole. Mr. Poole said the board of health will be involved in assessing the long-term risk to the future occupants, primarily related to mold.

Speaking to the Gazette by telephone Thursday for a second time this week, Mr. Hajjar said crews are working furiously to address the situation. The contractor hired to do the construction, Gene Erez of Dukes County Builders, has two extra crews on hand, he said. “We hope to have the building water tight sometime late in the weekend,” he said.

Earlier in the week as the crisis unfolded, in a conversation with the Gazette Mr. Hajjar lamented the bad stretch of weather.

“It’s just been poor timing with all the precipitation,” he said. “Who would ever think we’d get this much rain and wind in April.” He said at the time there was no significant damage to the building, but that information has since been refuted by town officials and postal service authorities.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hajjar publicly apologized, over the phone and in a letter to the editor that appears in today’s edition.

“We’re really doing whatever we can do to get the post office back open and we hope it’s going to be sooner rather than later,” he said. “We’re just sick about what’s happened.”

Steve Myrick contributed reporting.