Federal Postal Service officials suspended mail delivery to Long Island homes and businesses late Thursday morning after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the monster storm that brought blizzard conditions to the region.
U.S. Postal Service District Manager Frank Calabrese, who supervises Long Island, called off deliveries at about 11:40 a.m. and the 187 post offices with 6,800 employees were closed shortly after that, said Christine Dugas, a spokeswoman.
“Once the governor declared it an emergency, it was time to stop,” Dugas said, adding that carriers who reported to work early made as many deliveries as possible to get ahead of the storm.
Dugas said operations were expected to return to normal on Friday.
It was unclear how often weather-related service cancellations occur with the postal service or when officials last decided to shut down in the region.
The storm did not affect mail delivery in New York City or upstate, said postal service officials.
“We were basically running on regular schedule,” said Xavier Hernandez, a spokesman for the postal service in New York City.
He said the postal service’s well-known but unofficial motto — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — is held dear by the agency — up to a point.
“We want to make sure we are out there delivering for our customers as long as it’s safe to do so,” he said.
Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service upstate, said suspensions of service are rare for sure, and that no interruptions in delivery occurred north of New York City.
She added that logistical snags on the railroads or subways and buses are a factor, too.
“Our employees can’t get home if they have to use public transportation,” she said.
With Lisa Irizarry