Postal Service Gets ‘Licked’ by Ice Storm
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Operations in the Midlands and Upstate have been hampered because roads and highways have been impassible, limiting the number of employees who were able to get to work and impacting the postal service’s ability to move mail between facilities. Even for 30-year-old postal worker veteran, Shane Hollohan, this week’s snow and ice storm in the Midlands, he says, was unprecedented. “You can’t walk at your normal gait,” he said on his normal foot-route in the Shandon area. “You gotta move real careful as you’re walking. The footing’s worse on people’s steps.” When he’s delayed, so is your mail. “It slows you down.” His colleagues, who spend most of their time driving, have been hard hit, too. One viewer sent us a photo of a mail truck stuck on the snow and ice, immovable, on Garner’s Ferry Road. Postal service spokesperson Harry Spratlin says operations in the Midlands and Upstate have been hampered because roads and highways have been impassible, limiting the number of employees who were able to get to work and impacting the postal service’s ability to move mail between facilities. “We’ve had severe challenges in doing our job,” said Spratlin. “We’re keeping track of everything and making sure deliveries are done when they can be safely.” The postal service was so overwhelmed by the weather that, at the maintenance and repair facility, there are normally two trucks designated as recovery vehicles to assist letter carriers in need. But this week, officials say they had to call local towing companies for assistance. “The only thing that is a priority for us over and above delivery of the mail, is the safety of our employees,” said Spratlin. Speaking of safety, Shane’s truck. would start when he turned the key in the ignition. His truck was now stuck and he had to call for back-up, causing even further delays. “We’ll get it there eventually,” Shane said. “Neither rain or snow, you know the rest of the saying…..except dogs, though. “Sometimes we don’t make it to the house.” More post offices were opened today and mail delivery was extended to catch up.