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Mail delivery on ice

Monday, December 10, 2007 | 6:18 p.m. CST; updated 9:10 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
Letter carrier Julie Alsberge clears ice off of her mail truck's window following weekend ice storms Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, at the Columbia Post Office. "These trucks already have a lot blind spots," she said. "You certainly don't need any more."

COLUMBIA — U.S. Postal Service carrier Julie Alsberge put on spike-soled shoes Monday and loaded her truck with sandbags to deliver mail in midtown Columbia.

Alsberge looked ready to conquer Mount Everest, not her daily route through the city. She said the route might take her more than 10 hours to complete Monday, with icy sidewalks making the job slippery and dangerous.

She even packed a rubber mallet to crack ice off frozen mailboxes.

“Usually, when there’s ice on the sidewalks, you can walk on the grass,” she said. “Right now, the grass is so thickly covered with ice that it’s not a very good option either.”

With more ice expected, the post office is gearing up to keep mail delivery running smoothly. Acting Manager Cindy Bolles said letter carriers will continue their stops, but would not go to homes without a safe path to the mailbox.

“They’re out there in this kind of weather every year,” Bolles said. “If they can make a delivery, they’re going to make it.”

Postmaster Jackie Cook looks on as Letter Carrier Julie Ausberge loads her truck with sandbags Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, at the Columbia Post Office. After weekend storms blanketed Columbia's streets with ice, sandbags were used to add weight and traction to the city's mail trucks.

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