Going Postal Over Mail Delays

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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That’s long been the unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service (USPS), yet recent service, or lack thereof, due to weather, has residents going postal.

With the new year comes the time to pay those holiday bills and for important tax forms to arrive with tax season in full swing, but many residents haven’t received those items, birthday cards, letters, important medication, or any mail, for about a week.

The Rockaway Times received several complaints from residents not getting mail since before last Thursday’s winter storm. Even our own office felt the effects of not having our own letter carrier stop by. As cold temperatures froze over the bay, it appeared that the USPS froze as well. What’s with the hold up? Well, according to the USPS, — the weather.

On Tuesday, January 9, Xavier Hernandez, a USPS spokesperson for NYC said: “During Winter Storm Grayson, we faced the same conditions as our customers, but maintained our charge to deliver for our customers as best we could. We had comprehensive emergency plans in place, carefully monitored weather conditions as the storm barreled up the East Coast, and provided guidance to local postal managers. Frankly, many roads, side roads and sidewalks were impassable and we adjusted operations accordingly. Even after the storm, carriers braved near record-breaking low temperatures and average wind gusts of 40 mph. While some of our customers may not have received mail every day last week as a result, it was not for a lack of good safe effort.”

Hernandez provided some relief, saying that operations had returned to full working order, which appeared to be true as many residents claimed to receive mail by Tuesday evening.

“We appreciate hearing concerns, complaints and compliments from those customers, all of which help us to assess the success of our action plans. Given volume, staffing and storm recovery efforts, some deliveries may be later than typical and we appreciate our customers’ patience in that regard,” Hernandez said.

“Safety remains an area of major concern for the Postal Service. Pathways must be clear and safe for delivery on a daily basis. Though we expect warmer weather in the coming days, there are still major amounts of snow and ice in the area. This means that black ice may cover sidewalks and streets in many areas, which can lead to injury. Unfortunately, if it is unsafe for our carriers to deliver, we will retain mail items until it is safe to deliver. We know your readers would not want to start 2018 off with an injury and we must ensure that our carriers do not either.”

Anyone who continues to have mail delivery problems, are advised to call Betsy Millord of Congressman Gregory Meeks’ office at 347-230-4032.

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