‘We delivered what we could’: Icy roads thwart mail, package delivery

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2024

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NATCHEZ — “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail …,” so the saying goes, unless of course roads are so iced over that mail carriers cannot get to people’s houses.

True to their motto, Natchez letter carriers have been making their rounds Tuesday morning delivering whatever packages that they could, some getting stuck on the ice along the way.

On the city side, “We had seven that we had to go pull out of nine or 10,” Natchez postmaster Kevin Vicknair said. “The rural carriers did well.”

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The ice also doesn’t bode well for first responders, who said that response times may be slower because of weather conditions.

“We’ve responded to a lot of accidents,” Sheriff Travis Patten said. “People are sliding off of roads and getting stuck. If you don’t have to be out there, stay at home.”

Even at midday, when it appears that roads are clearing up, Vicknair said it’s “deceptively bad” out there. “I’m fixing to hit the collection run and hitting patches of ice that I can’t see,” he said. “I think it could be even worse tomorrow. We delivered whatever we could, but we didn’t get any mail. The truck driver is in Natchez and they still haven’t told him to go get it.”

The truck driver would have to drive to Jackson to retrieve the mail but needs the green light to travel safely.

The Amazon truck with packages for Natchez also hasn’t arrived as scheduled.

“I don’t even know if Amazon will be able to reach us tomorrow,” Vicknair said.

Most letter carriers have already returned to the post office safely with a low volume of mail on Tuesday, but whatever wasn’t delivered today will be added to the pile for another day.

“We should be open tomorrow at full capacity.”

The post office is open for usual business hours, but driving there is ill-advised.

“You can’t get out of your house but you’re worried about a letter?” he said “Is it worth wrecking your car or getting into an accident with somebody else?”