A leaking oil tank at a post office in eastern P.E.I. means residents will have to commute to get their mail.

As of Monday, the Cardigan post office will be shut down and its 166 mailboxes moved temporarily to Georgetown so crews can clean up contaminated soil.

The cleanup is expected to take about four to six weeks, because the building has to be lifted up and moved while a new foundation is poured, said a Canada Post official.

"Well, it's a bit annoying," said Pearl Rice, who lives outside Cardigan and collects her mail at the post office.

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Pearl Rice usually picks up her mail at the post office in Cardigan, but an oil leak at the back of the building means operations will move to Georgetown for a month or more. (CBC)

"I mean, I pay for my mailbox because I don't live in the village and now they're telling me I have to drive eight miles to pick up my mail every day. What are they going to do to compensate me? It's not my fault they had an oil spill."

It takes about 10 minutes to drive from Cardigan to Georgetown, but it's a commute Canada Post says is necessary.

"It's definitely an inconvenience … I'll probably be going a whole lot less than I do now," said Joanne Conohan, who lives in Cardigan.

"We have a lot of elders in our community and I'm sure that's going to be an issue for a lot of them."

The oil leaked out of a tank at the back of the building. Canada Post couldn't say how much of it spilled, but confirmed that the oil didn't leave the property.

Notices explaining the temporary relocation have been delivered to local residents.

Employees at the post office will also be moving to Georgetown while the cleanup is underway.