Lingering mail issues affect Minot area

USPS makes strides to get back on track

Jill Schramm/MDN Delivery vehicles are parked behind the Minot Post Office Thursday. The Postal Service reported postal workers in Minot hoped to break through a mail backlog Thursday.

Mail delays triggered by December snowstorms and the holiday rush have lingered into the new year in the Minot region.

Things may be looking up, though, as Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, said Thursday that the Minneapolis district of the U.S. Postal Service reports some positive changes. The Bismarck Post office, through which much of Minot’s mail is routed, has caught up with its backlog, as has the Williston Post Office.

Hoeven said the Postal Service reported the Minot Post Office remains behind but had hoped to clear the backlog Thursday. Information provided to Hoeven’s office Thursday stated Minot had five city routes, letters and flats, not go out that day. All packages went out. The unit had five employees call in sick but has extra employees available to deliver all mail today. At this point, employee attendance is the only issue creating delays in clearing mail, postal officials said.

Personnel shortages have been impacting the Postal Service for some time. However, the Minot Post Office hired four carriers in the past two weeks and has five more carriers and a postal clerk in orientation who should start next week, Hoeven relayed from postal officials.

Hoeven said his office received about 20 customer complaints related to postal delays in the past two weeks.

“But I have also been out there and have seen that the service is not what it needs to be,” he said. “The holidays, the heavy snow and the difficulty getting people is their rationale for being behind.”

Hoeven said he will continue to stay in communication with USPS officials to ensure issues get addressed.

At the end of December, Minot-area postal customers were voicing concerns about not receiving mail and not being able to pick up mail at the post office, where lines have been long. The problems affected residents in various parts of Minot as well as people on rural routes. On Thursday, a Minot resident reported finally receiving mail for the first time in a week and half, while a Logan-area resident said sporadic mail delivery still was occurring in that area. 

Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, Strategic Communications officer in the USPS district that includes North Dakota, provided the following response.

“The Postal Service is committed to providing the best possible service to our customers and we apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced. Local management in Minot, ND, are aware of delivery issues and taking steps to address the concerns. We appreciate the patience of our customers. We are flexing our resources, including using overtime and bringing in additional employees from other facilities.

“In addition, severe winter weather conditions suspended mail delivery for several days. We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and are proud of the efforts of postal employees as they define essential public service every day,” he wrote.

He added the postal service works to address specific issues when brought to its attention and encourages customers to reach out to their local postal stations. They also can go to usps.com and click on “contact us” at the bottom of the homepage, or utilize the direct web address: https://usps.force.com/emailus/s/. 

Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service, Abdul-Razzaaq said. 

In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the social media staff at USPS headquarters, can provide help. For customer service, tweet @USPSHelp. 

The Postal Service asks customers to help letter carriers deliver mail safely by maintaining a clear path to mailboxes. Customers receiving door delivery should make sure their sidewalks, steps and porches are clear of snow and ice. Customers receiving curbside delivery should remove snow piles left by snowplows to keep access to their mailboxes clear.


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