Dozens of Rochester residents report irregular, missing or delayed mail

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 7:15 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – These days, Elizabeth Blom has become familiar with opening an empty mailbox. Not because she isn’t expecting anything, but because her mail, isn’t getting delivered.

“We’ve never had issues like this before,” Blom said. She’s lived in the same home in southeast Rochester for about 35 years, but it wasn’t until the last year she started noticing irregularities in her mail delivery. In the last six months, she’s started to lose trust in her postage service.

“We’re lucky if we got one thing a week, maybe two,” she said.

As someone who orders products for her at home business, she’s reliant on her deliveries. Nowadays, she tracks everything with an app, but lately that’s been unreliable, too.

“I can’t depend on it,” Blom said. “I almost want to go to the post office and get a P.O. box, so then I can go and pick up my stuff.”

Blom isn’t the only Rochester resident dealing with missing, delayed or irregular mail. KTTC has received dozens of messages and tips saying the same thing.

Carli Schnaffner lives on the northwest side of town. Her neighborhood has also been hit with abnormalities in mail delivery.

“I noticed I wasn’t getting mail some days,” she said. “....And it’s been like this for several weeks.”

Schnaffner said her neighbors are dealing with the same thing. After attempting to call the post office, and not getting an answer, one of her neighbors went there to find out what was going on.

“They said they’re very short staffed,” Schnaffner said. “They’re running double routes. They’re getting as far as they can, as long as they’re able.”

Schnaffner feels for postal workers struggling to make up for missing hands. But is glad to know what’s caused the missing deliveries. She hopes this knowledge helps others understand, too.

Another report of mail struggles come from the northeast part of the Med City. Emelia Nelson said her mailman quit recently, causing some missing deliveries.

“This Sunday they came out in full force,” she wrote. “They are working so hard. A mail truck came up our street delivering envelopes and a USPS van came up right behind them with multiple mailmen jumping out and running to front doors to deliver packages. It is evident how hard they are working under extreme conditions.”

Blom said the post master knows her well.

“I’ve called and contacted them a couple of times. It’s usually delivery or driver issues. I know they are probably starving for help.”

Julie Herrera-Lemler lives in northwest Rochester, too. She’s experienced delayed mail recently and worries about postal workers.

“I wish the mail folks all the best and that they are not getting overworked,” Herrera-Lemler said. “Mental health is more important than getting my mail daily, even during the holidays.”

She plans to leave a “little gift” for her mailman, “Doc,” as thank you.

“It doesn’t do anyone any good to be mad. Just appreciate their hard work, their long hours and their service,” she said.

While USPS declined to elaborate on staffing shortages, it tells KTTC that mail is delivered daily throughout the Rochester area and if there’s an issue, to call your local post office. On Saturday, some Rochester residents were alerted that they needed to go pick up their packages from the Valleyhigh Road Post Office, as deliveries would no longer be made to the previous delivery address.

“When mail service issues occur, we take steps to quickly resolve customer concerns. We gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention and we encourage customers to reach out to their local post office,” a statement to KTTC read.

People struggling with delivery issue can click here to issue a complaint.

“The Postal Service will diligently continue to investigate customer’s concerns and correct deficiencies to improve service to our communities,” the statement continued.

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