Many Iowans spent at least part of their weekend scribbling their names in holiday cards, and the week ahead now holds two of the busiest days of the year for the U.S. Postal Service.
Spokeswoman Jeanie McReynolds says if you absolutely need to go to the post office today, go early and brace for longer-than-normal lines. "Today is expected to be our busiest mailing day of the year," McReynolds says, "nationally, the Postal Service estimates it will handle 275-million cards and letters, which is more than three-times the average daily volume. Total mail volume, including packages, should approach over one-billion pieces."
The Des Moines processing center is expected to handle nine-to-ten million pieces of mail today alone. McReynolds says today’s mail volume is expected to be so high because the deadline is upon us to get cards, letters and boxes mailed so they’ll arrive at their destinations before the 25th.
She says: "The weather also plays a big part in it. Sometimes if we have storms, people can’t get to the store quite as soon as they want to and their packages aren’t ready to go and be shipped off."
While today is expected to be the biggest mailing day of the year, McReynolds says the biggest delivery days will hit mid-to-late week. McReynolds says: "Remember, we will be getting mail from all over the United States so it may take a package from New York or California a little longer to get here. Wednesday and Thursday, we hope customers will remember to leave their lights on, make sure all their sidewalks are clear of snow and help those carriers out because it’s going to be a really heavy, busy day for them."
She says A-P-Cs, or automated postal centers, are located in the lobbies of many Iowa post offices and allow folks to process and send off their mail round-the-clock.