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Mail carriers ask for clear boxes

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Letter carriers are asking their customers to make sure their mailboxes are clear after a snowfall and plowing so they can easily deliver the mail to their appointed routes.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Letter carriers are asking their customers to make sure their mailboxes are clear after a snowfall and plowing so they can easily deliver the mail to their appointed routes.

Mt. Pleasant postmaster Richard Genck told the carrier who delivers mail that even if it is his house that has a mailbox buried to the extent that delivery is difficult, to skip it.

Genck explained in both city and rural routes there are some people who leave snow sitting in front of their mailbox, making access to it difficult. He explained this requires a carrier to get out of their vehicle, turn it off and put the mail in the box. Some of the routes have 500 deliveries on them. He said the last mail to leave Mt. Pleasant with outgoing mail goes at 5 p.m. The mail is taken to Burlington to be routed to its destination. Genck said every night since the snowfall he has been driving to Burlington with some mail from the carriers who did not get back in time. Because of this he asks customers to make sure their mail boxes are clear of snow so carriers can access them easily.

“I’ve already instructed my carriers if they have to leave their vehicle to deliver the mail, they should keep going,” he said. “I can’t have them getting out 500 times a day.”

He explained if the carrier has to get out of the vehicle for 60 customers and it takes a minute each time, it slows the carrier down by half an hour at the end of the day.

Genck also asked people to make sure their walks and steps are clear to provide extra safety for carriers.

With rural carriers already having to deal with some roads that haven’t been plowed, Genck said having half buried boxes is one more problem they shouldn’t have to deal with. He said mail vehciles have 4-wheel drive and are able to access those areas, but the situation is difficult.

“We just ask customers to clear their mailboxes after the snowfall,” Genck said. “After the snow falls and the plow burys your box please unbury it.”

Personnel at the Washington Post Office declined comment, saying any statement to the media would have to come from the Des Moines headquarters.