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Did You Get Your Mail? Spotty Delivery During Extreme Cold

Residents reported delayed delivery in Plainfield and unincorporated areas.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo
"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," but in some cases, Plainfield-area letter carriers had a hard time delivering the mail this week.

Several days of snow followed by sub-zero temperatures caused everything from an extended winter break for students to delayed garbage pickup.

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It also created issued with mail delivery, according to some Plainfield residents.

While some readers said their mail arrived as usual, others hadn't seen their mailman in days — and had plenty to say about it. Check out readers' responses on Facebook.

Prior to the big chill — which brought wind chills as low as -40 degrees to Plainfield — the U.S. Postal Service urged residents to keep their mailboxes clear of snow.

"Snow and ice make delivery dangerous and slow,” said Central Illinois District Manager Peter R. Allen. “Maintaining a clear path to the mail box – including steps, porches, walkways and street approach – will help letter carriers maintain consistent delivery service and help them get those cards and packages delivered.”  

According to USPS, delivery can be delayed whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions for letter carriers or when snow is plowed against mailboxes.

“The Postal Service curtails delivery only after careful consideration, and only as a last resort,” Allen said.  “Any curtailed mail is attempted the next delivery day.”  

According to Tinley Park Patch, mail carriers were also told they needed to be off the streets by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, because of the cold. They were told only to deliver to businesses, curbside boxes, centralized boxes and boxes in enclosed apartment buildings, said Lee Junious, a customer service supervisor with the post office.

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, carriers were told they could deliver to all the stops on their routes, but they still had to stop by 5 p.m., Junious said. 

As of Wednesday, Jan. 8, delivery is back to normal, but carriers are still being asked to stop at 6 or 7 p.m., Junious added.

Editor's note: Updated at 11:15 p.m. Jan. 8.
Jim W January 08, 2014 at 11:07 PM
May I please have my 3 days of undelivered mail?
gigi January 08, 2014 at 11:12 PM
Joliet had the issues.....idk after all the hours spent plowing. ...the post office can keep my bill for a couple days!!!!
Kristin Johnson January 09, 2014 at 06:45 AM
Honestly, no one should have been outside Monday and Tuesday. My mail could have waited. I just don't understand the 6pm delivery over the past several months... I use to get my mail around 1 - 1:30 everyday.
College Student January 09, 2014 at 08:18 AM
I ordered my college textbooks on Sunday off of Amazon and they were supposed to come in yesterday, and one was supposed to come on Tuesday because I needed it for class yesterday, so I paid extra for express delivery or whatever its called. Its Thursday and I still don't have any of my books in. Amazon emailed me and was nice enough to refund me the extra price I paid for my books. I was kind of mad at first because I need my books for school but I thought about it. I bought my books out of convenience when I could have just as easily gone to my school store and bought the books. I can't expect all of the mail to be on time especially with this weather, and anyone who expects their mail to be a priority and to be delivered to them in these conditions are crazy. You should be happy that at least there are people who are willing to deliver your mail. I don't know if you can do this or not, but if you haven't gotten your mail and you for some reason desperately need it and can't wait for it, then maybe try actually getting up and driving to the post office to get it. If you aren't willing to at least try that then you have no right to complain about mail that hasn't been delivered to you.
Vicky Polito January 09, 2014 at 08:24 AM
We got mail Wednesday in Walker's Grove s/d and hadn't since Saturday. We were also puzzled when the timing of mail delivery suddenly shifted to well after 6p, sometimes even after 7:30p. I think this started in early November for us. I remember thinking it was too early for Xmas mailings to have a big impact and that it's gone on for a while now. Very much agree with Ms. Johnson. It isn't a problem, per se, just odd. The mail never holds any urgent correspondence for us anymore, so a couple of days late is not an issue if it keeps workers safer and extra vehicles off the very bad roads (thus helping insure safety for others and keeping fire and police crews from having more issues to deal with, as well).
Marta Gemelli January 09, 2014 at 08:30 AM
At some point before the holidays the Post Office began twice a day package delivery. I believe this is part of the reason for the delay in regular mail delivery.
jeff January 09, 2014 at 08:31 AM
It has been 5 days (Wolf Crossing Rd & Mandel St). I understand Monday & Tuesday, but not before or after those days. Our service has been bad for the last 6 months. I have contacted the Post Office, but they didn't seem to care. They told me they would talk to carriers but the service only seems to gotten worst. The higher the cost of stamps goes up it seems the worst the service. I just try to pay online or use UPS.
Eloise Field January 09, 2014 at 09:08 AM
Randy is our "village" mailman. That means he's a walker. Parks the truck, and carries all our letters and packages right to your door. He never missed a day. It must have been miserable outside. I would have understood if I didn't have mail. You know, you can always drive over and pick it up.
Tricia January 09, 2014 at 09:16 AM
We did not receive mail on Monday, it was delivered on Tuesday. That is completely understandable. I have the same issue as Vicky and Kristin, though. Our mail used to be delivered between 11am-1pm. Starting in late Oct, early Nov our mail has been coming after 6pm every day (and and sometimes as late as 8pm).
Jean January 09, 2014 at 09:32 AM
We're in Vintage Harvest and have not received any mail this week.
joe January 09, 2014 at 10:10 AM
With the depth of the snow, and then the plows pushed the snow right up against the mail box area along with the freezing temps made it impossible to shovel it away. The mailman has a difficult job of walking through all the deep snow with his hands full of mail. One would think the Village of Plainfield would be aware of this, and have a crew follow the snow plows so they can clear the mailbox areas. Some of the elderly are unable to do the shoveling or pay to have it done as they are on a very limited income. Given the few times a snowfall like this happens, I doubt if it would hinder the budget. Maybe it's time "We The People" have coffee with the Mayor and express this. After all, we are the voters.
anthony January 09, 2014 at 10:59 AM
The only people complaining are probably the same people that are to lazy and inconsiderate to shovel the sidewalk in front of their house and the area surrounding the mailbox. And if the plows push the snow back in front of the mailbox, get your lazy butt out there and shovel it again. If you're too old then ask your kids, grandchildren, or neighbors to help.
Vicky Polito January 09, 2014 at 11:25 AM
The village and the crews are under two major and recurring pressures right from the get-go: Get “MY” street cleared—pristinely, please—and do it without spending too much money or slowing traffic even more or being in my way with your plows and staff, etc. A secondary clean-up crew sounds helpful, but it’s impractical. It would cost a lot of money because it would take many more employees and equipment (with attendant pay and insurance, etc.), not just “a crew” behind “the plows”. We have a lot of miles of street in Plainfield. It would slow down the process, slow down the roads, put more people at risk of injury, etc. None of us controls the naturally occurring troubles that come with very bad weather and when taking care of that trouble, there’s really only so much the village can do, just like there’s only so much a home-owner can do. We all try and do what we can. Sometimes we’re just going to be majorly inconvenienced and definitely unhappy about it. We’re stuck, and maybe all we can do is hunker-down at home for the few days and wait it out. Two of our elderly family members told us basically that they do not like feeling trapped, but at least they are at the age in life where they can take it easy about not getting in and out for a few days. I say that “given the few times a snowfall like this happens” individuals can adapt more easily than can the village-wide organizational response it would take to do what Tony M. is suggesting. It’s turning around a row boat vs. turning around an ocean liner. It is actually a big hit to a budget to do something for a whole town on an infrequent and unpredictable basis. I agree that there may well be improvements to be made in the village’s snow removal protocol, but it is a fact that Brian Murphy and Allen Persons and his team at Public Works are always open to discussing ideas and will make changes for improvement whenever possible.
Eloise Field January 09, 2014 at 11:37 AM
I was in Canada last month and they have just raised their postal stamp from 66 cents to $1.00. They also will discontinue door to door mail service and set up communal mailboxes similar to apartment complexes for neighborhoods. I predict this will be a trend for the USA as well. Most mail we get is junk mail, the price of a stamp is going up 3 cents at the end of the month. We pay our bills on line, and use email. Just a thought.
Think About It January 09, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Eloise, Randy the Mail Carrier should be the first to get a promotion at the Plainfield Post Office!
Ericus Alanas January 09, 2014 at 02:21 PM
I just got mine last night, was kinda odd how late it was compared to normal.
Ron January 09, 2014 at 06:37 PM
The biggest problem this week with delivery was not the cold. the carriers dress for the weather. the problem was not being able to reach a box because the access to the box was not cleared.Think about it the carrier has to stop put the truck in park put on the parking brake get out of the truck put the mail in your box get back in the truck, start it up release the brake put it in gear drive 30 feet do it all over again. carriers average 600 stops there is no way they can dismount a couple hundred times and still get the whole route delivered.Thats why some people got mail and some didn't. Access to mail boxes is absolute.
oldschool January 09, 2014 at 08:35 PM
I live in Vintage Harvest, mail everyday except Monday. Clear out around your mailbox and your mail will be delivered.
Stormchaser January 09, 2014 at 09:36 PM
Access to my box was not an issue. I snow blowed all the way to the curb and about 10 ft in front of the box. Even with all that, did not get mail until Wednesday. I did observe the mail truck drive down my block, stop at zero boxes, and then proceed to do the same on the next block. My flag was even up that day!
JJS January 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM
We live in Wesmere, And we have the most AWESOME mail delivery carrier Pat R. she delivers in rain sleet snow, service with a smile. She has been our carrier for the last 14 years that we have lived here.. Thanks for such great serviced whoo whoo Kudos to Pat R. She should be Carrier of the DECADE

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