Stacked-up snow delaying mail carriers

As the United States Postal Service works to return mail service to normal, the organization said it needs help making sure the area around mailboxes is clear.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 3:42 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After a month of winter storms hammering South Dakota, it’s left quite a bit of snow piled up against roads and streets. While it’s cleared away for drivers to use those roads, postal carriers are having a tough time delivering mail because of it.

As the United States Postal Service works to return mail service to normal, the organization said it needs help. Mark Inglett, a strategic communications specialist with the USPS said that piled up snow isn’t the fault of any homeowners, as snow plow crews work to open streets back up. But that does create the conditions where it becomes impossible for carriers to reach boxes in a safe manner.

“We need a path that’s big enough for us to not only pull into there to get to the mailbox, but to also pull away safely. Because they can’t reach that mailbox from the curbside,” Inglett said. “Those snow plows, the street crews do a great job of pushing that snow off of the street. Unfortunately, it’s banked up against those mailboxes.”

Inglett said carriers have seen the generosity of others, helping clear paths for others in their neighborhoods. He said that’s helped relieve some of the backups they’ve seen and start getting mail service returned to normal.

“As silly as it sounds, the neighbors have been a big help. A lot of folks will see it, and maybe somebody in need might need a little bit of assistance and things such as that.” Inglett said.

At the end of the day, the Postal Service said it’s priority is the safety of it’s carriers. Inglett said they’ve got everyone out delivering mail who can, but they just need a bit more help.

“We’ve got everybody out there taking care of business. Transportation is running 100 percent. All of the carriers are making every effort we can to deliver that mail safely. But the safety of our carriers is our top priority, and we’re doing everything we possibly can.” Inglett said.

Inglett said they’re moving closer to returning to normal service as more snow gets cleared from the streets. But they could still use help in making sure they can get to every box., especially with the possibility of more snow in the coming days.