Postal Service asks customers to clear snow around mailboxes

Published 9:00 am Monday, March 2, 2015

NW0301 USPS Snow Mailboxes

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

But, a snow-blocked mailbox could slow down deliveries for a day or two.

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The United States Postal Service is asking all customers to make sure their mailboxes are clear and accessible to mail carriers during winter weather events.

“Snow can make mail delivery very challenging,” USPS spokesperson David Walton said. “We ask that the approaches to mailboxes, and the mailboxes themselves, be cleared and accessible to the carriers.”

The USPS has two types of carriers, Walton said. Some carriers do not leave their vehicles, while others will get out and walk from house to house and make deliveries.

Each of these types bring a special safety consideration. For driving carriers, the USPS asks that all plowed snow be removed from in front of the street side mailbox.

“What happens is when the plows come through the snow is thrown over to the side and piles up around the edges of the street,” Walton said. “We ask that be cleared so the carrier can pull up to the box to make the delivery. The path should be cleared for entry and exit.”

On walking routes, the USPS wants customers to clear sidewalks, steps, porches or any other areas between the street and their mailbox of snow, sleet, slush, ice and debris.

“Slips, trips and falls do occur,” Walton said. “The safety and security of our carriers is of the utmost importance. If they feel they cannot safely make the delivery, we will hold the mail until the next delivery day.”

Just like the path to the mailbox should be accessible, so should the mailbox. Postal customers are asked to make sure their box is able to be opened and is functioning properly, Walton said.

Other safety considerations include removing icicles and hanging snow from overhangs so that it will not fall and land on a carrier or another person, and to clear slush and melting snow from driveways, walkways and steps before it can refreeze and turn to ice.

“We know how important the mail is, and we want to make those deliveries,” Walton said. “The safety of our carriers is the most important consideration.”