U.S. Postal Service officials have released a statement after mail being transported by a local carrier was damaged by last week’s floodwaters.
Mail being carried by Sarah Fowler was damaged Jan. 11 after Fowler’s vehicle was partially submerged during a flash flood. Fowler, a mail carrier with the Nettleton Post Office, was delivering mail in southwest Itawamba County when her car quickly began to take on floodwater. Deputies with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department pulled Fowler from her vehicle to safety.
Fowler was uninjured.
In response to questions from The Times, United States Postal Service Strategic Communications Specialist Tracie M. Finley of St. Petersburg, Florida, called the incident “unfortunate” and apologized to anyone who saw a delay in the delivery of their mail because of the flash flooding.
“As an integral part of the communities we serve, the U.S. Postal Service strives every day to provide excellent service to our valued customers,” she told The Times via email. “The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is the highest priority for the Postal Service. While the goal is to finalize mail delivery, variables such as severe flooding and dangerous weather may affect delivery times. We apologize for any inconvenience that our customers may have experienced due to this unforeseen incident.”
Finley said the local post office followed the national postal service’s guidelines for delivering mail after the floodwaters receded. She said the delayed mail should have been delivered the following day.
“The U.S. Postal Service has specific guidelines for damaged mail that we follow in such cases, depending on the specific circumstances,” she told The Times. “We always make every attempt to deliver items, if possible. Customers served by this particular route received their letters and packages the next business day, once the weather allowed for safe delivery.”
Finley said outgoing mail was unaffected by the incident.