BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — In Blount County, for six days whenever Jessica Eubanks went to get her mail, the box was empty. Several miles away in Blount County, Jeff Jenkins experienced the same problem, no mail delivery. The other day, for the first time in a week, Megan Kelso finally got her mail, plus her neighbors.
Their letters and packages are delivered from Maryville’s main post office on Keller Lane. The delay in delivery has folks worried.
“People are waiting for paychecks, medicine,” said Eubanks.
“It started about two months ago, it really got bad about two months ago,” said Jenkins.
“Yes, it’s frustrating Luckily, I got my W-2. My W-2’s are in there,” said Kelson.
“I have Informed Delivery, it’s an email that comes every day from the post office that says ‘this mail will be arriving soon,” explained Eubanks. She says even with the special “Informed Delivery” service sometimes it will say a letter is arriving, but it doesn’t.
“I think the post office could have made a flyer to put in people’s mailboxes or at least get on the Maryville Speaks-Out site and tell people what is going on,” said Eubanks.
Jenkins finally got his mail after waiting for a week, he says it’s impossible to get through to someone on the phone at the post office, so he drove there. “Actually went to the Post Office and was going to try to pick my mail up there. And I was told they were short 12 drivers, that our mail was there, but it was in a pile in the back unsorted, that they would get to it as soon as they could.”
Since the W-2 is an important letter, Kelso is grateful her mail finally arrived. However, she was surprised by receiving the other letters as well.
“This is mine and two neighbors. Because not only did I get my mail but I also got two of my neighbor’s mail so I’ll have to figure out whose is whose and take them because I’m sure they’ve been waiting on their stuff too,” said Kelso.
“I go to the Post Office, they say they’re short of drivers. But you can stand out here and watch many mail vehicles go up and down, but they’re not delivering first-class mail, they’re delivering Amazon packages,” said Jenkins.
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About the delays in service, WATE contacted the Postal Service. A spokesperson shared this statement:
The post office is not immune to the human impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, of the ongoing industrywide delays in ground and air transportation due to recent winter storms across Tennessee which have created challenges for the Postal Service, but the letter goes on, We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and we are proud of the efforts of postal employees across Tennessee.
Also in its note to WATE, the Postal Service apologized for any inconvenience for its customers living in the Maryville, area. We were told that management at the Maryville post office has been made aware and is taking steps to address the concerns. The postal service wrote saying “it appreciates the patience of its customers, and the efforts of its employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis.”