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Mail carriers face injuries, large snow piles getting to mailboxes

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- They go through rain and sleet.

But lately, mail carriers are having trouble making it through all this snow.
Postal workers say the wicked winter weather is preventing them from delivering your mail.

In the Kalamazoo area weve seen more than 80 inches of snow this winter.

But a more staggering number is 300, which is the amount of bonus hours workers from the Miller Road Post Office have clocked so far this year.

Theyre working 10-12 hour days just to get the pieces home to the customer, said Customer Service Supervisor Marc Wilson. 

Wilson said whether you get your mail depends on if carriers can make a safe delivery.

Our carriers do wear spikes, but sometimes it's not possible to get to every delivery. If the carrier hurts themselves, that means we're down a person and everyone has to pull double duty, Wilson said. 

He said so far this winter, 13 mail carriers from Miller Road have been injured in slip and fall accidents.

One worker was out for one week.

He said those dangers come from un-shoveled walks and outer mail-boxes buried in snow.

The curbsides are more frustrating because the snow plows will come down and get the mailboxes, you can only reach out at a mailbox so far without having to get out of the truck, Wilson said. 

They say the biggest problem area for this is Kalamazoos Winchell neighborhood.
Mail delivery will be suspended if we cannot get to your mailbox, Wilson said. 

He said that's happened numerous times so far this winter.

Mail carriers say clear a path for them, dig out the front and top of your mailbox and you'll be fine.

If we see the customers putting in the effort to make sure their boxes are clear, we will make every attempt, Wilson said.

Theyve also been skipping over streets if they haven't been plowed, returning when the street is clear.