Audio: Lawmakers demand "speed fix"
WASHINGTON -- It's starting to trickle in, but many Bethesda residents are going on a week without mail delivery and local representatives are weighing in.
Friday afternoon, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) called for U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to restore mail delivery right away.
"I am requesting that mail service resume immediately without delay," Senator Mikulski wrote in a news release.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen's office says they learned from the Postmaster General the U.S. Postal Service COO instructed relevant district managers to fix the problem immediately by using all tools available to them.
His office says residents should notice a meaningful difference in mail delivery by today, at the latest.
Laurie Gross is one of many homeowners frustrated with the U.S. Postal Service. Hers is one of a number of Bethesda neighborhoods in a mail-delivery delay, and residents aren't getting answers. Comments are filling neighborhood listservs and the voicemails of local representatives.
"I am very frustrated. One, you get in the habit of getting mail. But, I'm (also) waiting for medications," Gross says.
She said she understood when mail didn't arrive on Feb. 14, as snow made the roads difficult to navigate. Then, there was no delivery Monday Feb.17, because it was a holiday. But when she was promised the mail would arrive Wednesday and it didn't, she lost her patience.
"I think it's beyond what's reasonable for a snowstorm," Gross says.
She got her mail faster after the epic 2010 snowstorm known as Snowmageddon. When her mail finally came on Thursday, she only received catalogs, she says.
WTOP received an email from Sue in Bethesda, who had a similar experience. She complained the local post office promised her multiple times the mail would be delivered the following day, to no avail. Both women have called their local representatives about the issue.
"We've not been able to get this process moving," Gross says.
The postal service acknowledges the problem and says several Bethesda neighborhoods have been affected. It did not specify how many homes have gone without mail.
Homeowners who still have not received their mail delivered can call 202-636-1200 to report it.
Despite ongoing problems, the postal service released this statement Feb. 20 regarding the mail delivery delays in Bethesda:
"We are pleased to say the issues have been resolved and, as of today, we expect to be back to regular delivery throughout the area. We apologize to any customers whose mail delivery was impacted as a result of the storm."
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