Much of Iowa got a fresh coating of ice and snow overnight, bringing new concerns for officials with the U.S. Postal Service. Spokesman Richard Watkins says this is expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year, as many people spent the weekend signing and addressing their holiday cards and are putting them in the mail this morning.
“Nationwide, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Postal Service will deliver more than 16-billion letters, packages and cards,” Watkins says. “Today, being our busiest day, we expect to sort nearly a billion cards and letters, about 839-million.” Watkins says today’s mail volume will be nearly double the average in Iowa and nationwide.
Watkins says, “In Iowa, in our major mail processing center in Des Moines, we normally would sort just under half a million (pieces of mail) on an average Monday night but tonight will expect to sort more than a million.” While today will be the busiest mailing day of the year, he says Wednesday will be the busiest delivery day. Watkins says all of the ice Iowa has received overnight is raising fears, especially after last week’s blizzard that dumped heavy snow on much of the region.
“We have to go into all of those neighborhoods and with this being our heaviest volume week,” Watkins says, “it’s a great concern to us when it comes to negotiating those slippery ice-covered steps and porches and walkways on the delivery routes.”
He urges folks to keep the paths to their mailboxes clear, whether it’s at the curb or at their front door. While 97-million customers will visit the post office this season, Watkins says another 41-million people will skip the trip and take advantage of online shipping from their home or office using the website “usps.com“.