USPS says mail delivery issues due to “unforeseen circumstances”

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:47 AM EST
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HARDY, Va. (WDBJ) - Residents in Hardy wanted to know why their mail wasn’t being delivered and were even more confused when the post office told them they’d have to come pick it up themselves.

Despite their roads being cleared to the bare pavement from snow, Bernie and Julie Arrington say their neighborhood’s mailboxes have been empty all week.

“This week it snowed, and Monday was a holiday and we didn’t get mail Tuesday or Wednesday,” says Julie. “Our neighborhood watch posted they had called, and we needed to go pick our mail up.”

When Bernie arrived to ask about the delivery issues, he says the worker told him they were due to staffing issues. He says he was unable to retrieve packages and was still missing multiple pieces of the family’s mail. When he asked when they’d have a resolution, no one could tell him, or direct him to the person who would know.

The Arringtons turned to WDBJ7 to investigate after their questions were left unanswered.

“Like a lot of people we get our prescription by mail order, and so we’re concerned about that,” says Bernie. “Or if you order perishable items and they’re sitting there,” said Bernie.

We reached out to the United States Postal Service for a response. We received the following statement:

There are some postal employees out due by unforeseen circumstances. Most customers are experiencing regular mail delivery and impacted customers should see mail delivery return to normal soon.

We have taken specific actions to continue service to our valued customers, which includes:

• Continuing to fully authorize overtime to allow employees to work the time necessary to deliver mail.

• Expanding mail deliveries to earlier in the morning, later in the evening, and on Sundays to ensure customers receive mail at the earliest date possible.

• Using additional carriers from nearby offices, when necessary, to maintain mail deliveries.

• Hiring additional personnel. We currently have openings for pre-career positions across Southwest Virginia. These include city and rural letter carriers and local window and distribution clerks as well as motor vehicle drivers. Viewers can access these positions by visiting and searching by state for open positions. New jobs are added to the site weekly.

As part of the Postmaster General’s Delivering for America Plan, we installed 112 new package sorting machines last year across the country and added more than 100 new annex facilities to handle the continued increase in package volumes. To staff these facilities, we have been aggressively recruiting and hiring throughout the year. The new machines and annexes were one of the reasons the Postal Service was able to process and deliver high volumes of packages on time during the holiday season.

We will continue to address employee availability. We thank our customers for their understanding and continued support. We also appreciate the efforts of our dedicated employees who are working to deliver for our customers during the pandemic.

The United States Postal Service

“It’s 2022. Who gets told to go pick up their mail at the post office?” asked Julie, who references when schools contact the media and send notices to residents to get the word out about cancellations and delays. “Why can’t they reach out and say hey, we’re having an issue with the Hardy area, your mail’s going to be delayed? Something!”

The Arringtons say all four days of mail were delivered Friday afternoon, but have yet to be informed if regular service will continue into Saturday.

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