Postal service asks customers to clear snow to prevent delivery disruption

BELTON, Mo. -- Trudging through deep snow can be difficult for carriers walking door to door to deliver the mail.

Still, the postal service managed to deliver 98 percent of its mail during Saturday's snowstorm. There were only a few addresses deemed too dangerous because of slippery surfaces or blocked mailboxes.

The start of a new work week has carriers back on the streets trudging through deep snow to complete their daily deliveries.

The postal service provides its workers a uniform allowance so they can buy boots and other winter gear. The postal service also provides carriers with what they call stable icers, special cleats to attach to their boots which give carriers better traction walking through the snow.

It seems like not as many people take time to shovel snow compared to years past.

"Some of the things we really ask they do is keep their mailboxes kind of clear of snow and ice," Belton postmaster Mark Inglett said. "Their porches, it really helps us a lot to make sure they can clear a path for the carrier. I know folks are busy and they want to make sure they are safe as well. If we can keep the mailboxes clear and a path for the carrier, that helps us a lot."

The postal service often handles the last mile of delivery for large shippers like Amazon. Inglett says carriers take a lot of pride in completing that task, which even happens on Sundays now.

But making sure workers stay safe doing it remains a top priority. Managers like inglett say they're always out evaluating the conditions.

Warmer temperatures expected later this week may help melt some of the snow, but then another drop in the mercury is likely to cause refreezing, resulting in more danger for deliveries.

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