Updated 11/13/2012 07:35 PM
Sandy Causes Mail Service Interruptions In Rockaways
They say neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor hail can stop the mail, but Sandy meant a big interruption in service for people in the Rockaways. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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Mail service is returning to the Rockaways, but slowly. Two weeks after the storm, there are still residents who have yet to get a visit from the mailman.
"We've gotten nothing here," said Ashlee Elland, a Rockaway Beach resident. "We still don't have power or gas or anything. No mail. No nothing. We feel kind of left out in the dark, literally.
The situation is slightly better a few blocks away, where mail returned to a Rockaway Beach home on Saturday. Liz Smith-Breslin is helping her mother, who lives here.
"Where I live too, on 132nd Street, the mailman came around the other day for the first time," said Smith-Breslin, who is a Belle Harbor resident herself. "It brings a little normalcy back. You're like, 'oh, mail. Bills. I've got to pay the bills for the house I don't have anymore. Lovely.' It's hard."
Mail may seem like a secondary concern for Smith-Breslin. Not only did Sandy hit her family's homes hard, she said her father died of a heart attack the night after the storm. Still, the return of postal deliveries is a big deal.
"People have their pay checks mailed to them," she said. "We are on of them. Life has to go on. You have to still pay your mortgages and pay your bills."
Postal service officials said that as of last Friday, postal workers were only able to make about 60 percent of their deliveries in the Rockaways. Officials said they are delivering mail when conditions are safe and streets are passable.
"Sanitation, if he blocks the block. I can't get through, but I wait until he leaves and then I go around again," said postal worker Nancy Rivera.
One street was safe enough for the Long Island Power Authority to hold a public meeting on it on Sunday, but residents on the block are not getting mail.
Further complicating matters is damage to post offices, like one in Rockaway Park.
There is no telling when regular mail service will return to this area. Last week, the postal service issued a press release telling residents of the Rockaways to clean off their mailbox. The postal service said the carriers were coming back.