After snowstorm, mail carriers battle rough conditions

Published: Feb. 18, 2015 at 9:50 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2015 at 9:50 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're still waiting for roads in your neighborhood to be cleared of snow, relief could be just hours away. Henrico Public Works says crews should hit all secondary roads by midnight Wednesday. The Virginia Department of Transportation is also hard at work.

While these conditions can be treacherous for drivers, imagine how they're impacting those delivering your mail. Mail workers says those at home can help a great deal. Even if there's still snow on the road, they'll be working to deliver mail, but there are some situations where carriers may have to skip some homes.

"Rain, sleet, snow, we deliver," says Margaret Williams with the U.S. Postal Service.

Your local mail person has two ways of doing it: by foot or by vehicle. In many cases, they're dealing with unplowed roads in neighborhoods. That alone can be hard enough.

"When you have your mailbox on the curb, you don't want to put snow in front of the boxes because it's really hard to access from the vehicle. We like to keep a clear path to and from the mailbox so we're able to pull up and service it," Williams said.

If you don't, the driver may have to keep going. Wednesday in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield, some neighborhood streets were clear but many still weren't.

Even on roads that have not yet been plowed, you can see where some drivers were able to make their way over them, allowing other drivers some traction.

"I'm afraid to park on the side roads, you know. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I had to have neighbors help me get out," said Henrico driver Karla Stoll.

Mail carriers had their work cut out for them. Due to Wednesday's sunshine, some ice had melted, but Wednesday night's bitter temperatures will cause the roads to refreeze. And then there's the possibility for more snow.

But that wont stop your mailman or woman from heading your way, even on those snow and ice covered neighborhood streets.

"We drive through it if possible. If we're not, we'll actually get out and deliver it. A lot of the vehicles do have chains, some of them don't," Williams added.

USPS says if your mailbox is next to your door, try to clear your stairwell so carriers can get to you. Road workers in Henrico continue to work 12-hour shifts 24 hours a day to get the job done.

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