Charlotte mail delivery resumes after a day on ice

Mail delivery in the Charlotte area resumed Friday after a one-day suspension because of Thursday’s storm, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

But if your sweetie says the valentine is in the mail, he or she may be telling the truth. The heavy load of cards and packages associated with Valentine’s Day, along with snow and ice delays all along the East Coast, means delivery delays may drag into early next week, said spokeswoman Monica Coachman.

She urged residents to help their carriers by clearing a path to the mailbox, whether that’s on the road or at the front door. “Safety is paramount,” she said Friday.

UPS saw similar delays, with Carolinas deliveries stopped Wednesday afternoon and Thursday as roads became unsafe, said spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg. All areas had returned to service Friday, she said, but not all roads were passable. And some businesses remained closed, which added to the backlog.

Rosenberg agreed that some romantic gifts may have been derailed. UPS’ Valentine’s Day spike includes delivery of flowers, chocolates and gifts, to vendors and customers, she said.

FedEx also reported weather-related delays along the East Coast, but the public relations staff did not respond to requests for details.

U.S. mail carriers were making deliveries Wednesday, when the storm hit the Charlotte area, but deliveries were cut off when roads became unsafe, Coachman said. Service was suspended Thursday, with sleet and snow falling and many roads risky. Trucks and flights bringing mail into North Carolina also faced delays.

And there will be no mail Monday because President’s Day is a holiday.

Some postal customers were frustrated. Linda Wyatt, who lives in Charlotte’s Cotswold neighborhood, said Friday she heard some people were getting their mail but couldn’t get an answer about what had happened to hers.

“Were the postal carriers allowed to arbitrarily choose to deliver or not? Did they choose where to deliver? Does anyone know?” she asked in an email to the Observer.

“Our neighborhood has not had mail delivery since Tuesday, and I’ll be surprised if we get any today,” Tom Dorsey, who lives in south Charlotte, said early Friday afternoon.

But his mail came later that day. In this case, he said, “it’s nice to be wrong.”

On Friday, many side roads remained covered with snow and ice. Coachman said drivers are “all trained to drive in the snow, (but) they’ve got to make the judgment call.”

“We’re doing everything we can to get all the mail that’s in the building delivered,” she said.

Some people who missed their mail also noted that they hadn’t gotten The Charlotte Observer during the storm.

Publisher Ann Caulkins said newspapers were delivered to all distribution points Thursday and Friday, but some carriers weren’t able to make home deliveries safely.

“For the most part, on Friday, carriers were able to navigate most major arteries and flat areas, but we still experienced delivery issues on inaccessible roads and untreated neighborhoods,” Caulkins said. “Except for isolated rural areas and remaining icy roads, we expect deliveries to return as close to normal as possible for Saturday morning.”