With parts of the Husker State expecting between six and 18 inches of snowfall from this massive storm, Nebraskans are reminded to keep the path to their mailboxes clear — or they may not get any mail.
Richard Watkins, spokesman for the U-S Postal Service, says as people shovel or blow the snow off of their driveways and sidewalks, they need to make sure letter carriers can safely reach their mailboxes, too.
“We’re hoping people will do the right thing by our letter carriers,” Watkins says. “We’re gearing up for the big holiday season and the holiday rush and it is a concern of ours that we’ve got thousands of letter carriers, both rural and city, who are going to be traversing these roads and walking up steps and slippery porches.”
Some communities have ordinances that require residents to clear snow from their walks and driveways, but he hopes people will do so whether they’re required to or not. Also, if snowplows have buried your mailbox under a big drift, it’ll be much tougher for a carrier to reach.
Watkins says, “Take a little bit of time to make sure that your rural mailbox is cleared of ice and snow and also the walkway and paths leading up to your door if you have home delivery.”
He says every winter, scores of letter carriers are injured while trying to deliver the mail through snowdrifts or across icy sidewalks. “We’ve seen broken arms, broken ankles, sprained wrists, those types of injuries,” Watkins says.
“They can be fairly serious because you’re talking about winter conditions and it can be difficult to complete those deliveries. The safety of our employees is our primary concern.”