Long Island mail delivery back on track

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Dangerous route conditions and power outages at a Melville postal processing plant and several postal facilities prevented many Long Island letter carriers from delivering mail Monday during the blizzard, officials said Tuesday.

"Mail delivery was simply not possible in all Long Island areas," Krista Riemma, a spokeswoman for the postal service said last night in an e-mail. "The Long Island district had many obstacles to overcome."

The obstacles included a power failure at the Mid-Island Processing and Distribution Center in Melville as well as at many other local post offices.

Riemma said power outages forced postal workers to curtail delivery. The Melville processing center, which handles mail for Long Island, was unable to operate at full capacity Sunday night, according to Riemma.

Also, the roof of a tractor-trailer filled with mail at the Melville plant collapsed Sunday under the weight of accumulating snow from the blizzard. All the mail on board the parked truck was retrieved, she said.

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Letter carriers were again on the roads Tuesday, delivering that day's mail and any mail they were unable to deliver on Monday, Riemma said. The only exceptions were to addresses on side roads that might still be inaccessible because of snow drifts, and walkways to individual mailboxes whose owners failed to clear away snow and ice.

The storm-related power outage that crippled the postal service, private businesses and individual homeowners was eventually corrected.

Any outages related to the blizzard had been cleared up by 8:15 p.m. Tuesday night, said Mark Gross, a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority. More than 8,500 homes and businesses had been without power.

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