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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Sunday mail delivery helped clear storm-caused backlog

Postal carriers worked Sunday in Spokane to clear a backlog of mail after winds and rain damaged a U.S. Postal Service mail storage facility last week.

On Dec. 8, wind blew off portions of the roof of the facility at the Spokane airport that handles mail for Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The damage led to flooding and caused mail to be rerouted to Seattle for about two days.

The delay caused a backlog of about 3 million pieces of mail in Spokane, according to Tim Carson, a retail employee at the downtown Spokane post office. Normally, post offices in the Spokane area handle about a million pieces of mail per day.

The storage facility was operating at about 75 percent capacity by Thursday and was fully operational by the end of last week, USPS spokesman Ernie Swanson said.

“We’ve been delivering normally since that time,” he said.

A number of people did not receive mail Wednesday or Thursday because delays meant there was no mail to deliver, Swanson said.

The Postal Service normally delivers Priority Mail and Amazon packages on Sunday using flexible employees who are not regular mail carriers. Mail carriers worked overtime Sunday to get letters and other items out.

Carson said the backlog should be cleared by Tuesday.

“It’s some major overtime, but we made it happen,” he said.

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