Undelivered mail will hold

Snowed-in boxes prevent deliveries

By Greg Elias
Observer staff

Along with roads and driveways, last week’s blizzard also buried mailboxes and delayed deliveries.

But Williston’s postmaster said residents and businesses need not worry about missing their mail. Anyone with a mailbox still hidden in a snow bank or felled by a snowplow will have their letters and parcels held until they can be delivered.

“We understand,” Williston Postmaster Ed Mongeon said on Friday. “This was very unusual.”

The Valentine’s Day storm dropped about 2 feet of snow across the region and set a record for snowfall in a 24-hour period. School was cancelled and businesses closed.

Williston mail carriers, however, continued to make deliveries. But many mailboxes along the town’s 10 mail routes were inaccessible or covered in a thick blanket of snow.

Carriers who cannot complete deliveries bring the mail back to the post office, Mongeon said. Then they try again the next day.

Mongeon urged residents to help carriers do their job by completely clearing the area around their boxes. Carriers are not supposed to get out of their trucks for safety reasons, Mongeon said, so it is important that they can drive right up to the mailbox.

The best test is to see if your mailbox is accessible is to pull your car up to the box and see if you can open it by reaching through your passenger-side window. If not, your mail may not be delivered.

Another common problem has been mailboxes knocked over by snowplows or pushed off their posts when plows move mountains of snow against them. Mongeon said some residents have resorted to placing knocked-down mailboxes temporarily on top of snowbanks.

Mongeon said many Williston residents helped out by notifying the post office when mail deliveries were impossible.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook,” he said.