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Mailman Explains How the Polar Vortex Stopped Your Mail

A local mail carrier shared his experience, and that of his colleagues, during the sub-arctic cold that just swept through the area.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

So goes what's commonly known as creed of the U.S. Postal Service.

But the sub-arctic temperatures swept into Chicago by the polar vortex indeed delayed our postal couriers. 

We asked our Facebook fans about their mail, and Tim Scallon, an Orland Park-area mail carrier, responded, sharing his experience delivering mail during the dangerous cold:

“As both a mail carrier and a resident in Orland, I do want to apologize on the catch-up approach we had to take with delivering these past few days. I know the phone's been ringing at the office constantly, and we also have been trying to answer each call as we can.

"Monday and Tuesday, the carriers were instructed to get back off the street come sundown (4:30pm) as the temperatures were dropping too low to continue to be out in the elements. I was out at about 3pm, and that wind chill was getting fierce. 

"Yesterday was the first day we were green lit to go later (6pm) still with the concerns about the temps. That was a decision made at the district level. 

"I know the phrase "We did our best" rings hollow when we weren't able to get to you to deliver, but we did give it our all. Leave days were cancelled, we brought in as many people as we could to help the main carriers carry the backlog of mail. A number of carriers went back out and delivered to the last minute, trying to get as much out as we could.

"Packages may be delayed across the country, as obviously this wasn't a local weather system. If you have a tracking number, you can track your package at USPS.com

"I want to thank everyone for being patient, and especially for those who cleared their boxes as best they could for us to deliver. All of us who carry mail appreciate our customers, especially at times like this.”

Read the rest of the mail delivery comments on Orland Park Patch’s Facebook page.

Check out what area mail officials said about the conditions on Plainfield Patch and Tinley Park Patch.

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Sandy Olmsted January 10, 2014 at 08:53 AM
We had brutal, dangerous temperatures last week. Weather highly unusual for this area of the country. Schools were closed and media/village message boards were urging everyone to stay in the house if they did not absolutely have to go outside. Those that deliver our mail should not have to put their health/lives at risk for us to receive our ads, which if most of us are honest just get tossed into the recycle bin without a second glance....and a few bills. A day or two shouldn't matter to keep our mail carriers safe.
David bornstein January 10, 2014 at 09:20 AM
My mailman does a great job everyday and because of the severe weather everyone should understand that your mail may be delayed for safety's sake. Quit calling the PO to complain.
Antonia January 10, 2014 at 01:56 PM
My mailperson does a good job I have had a few diffrent ones a male and 2 females which are all very nice... with the weather being what it is. I think a few days without mail would not of mattered... it was not safe for them to be out either. I think calling the PO for stuff or cause you were wondering where the mail is. If the kids were not at school they were thinking of the Drivers too it was not safe for anyone. I love my PO... thank you for all you do!!!
The Frontman January 10, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Thank you, everyone, for the nice compliments. The Orland Post Office staff and carriers all appreciate the sentiments. Tim Scallon
Larry January 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Considering the extreme weather conditions they did a great job!! Carey is my mailman he always delivers the mail in a timely manner in the Catalina Sub-Division,we appreciate his performance throughout the years!!!
Cj Laity January 13, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Chicago failed miserably. Not even a few years back when we had two to three feet of snow on the ground was the mail service this terrible. There were only two days that were too cold to work yet the mail is still not being delivered a week later. I personally have a package that has been sitting in the Post Office for TEN days undelivered. It's 50 degrees out today. So what's going to be the excuse today?

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