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Postal Service says pandemic, record volume of mail causing delays or undelivered mail

People in Lycoming County say their mail, including bills and other important items, is coming late or even sometimes not at all.

MONTGOMERY, Pa. — In Lycoming County, folks are airing their frustrations over mail being delayed for days, with some not arriving at all.

The U.S. Postal Service says a historic volume of holiday mail, compounded with an employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, is causing temporary delays.

The post office in Montgomery was closed for the day, but the deliveries of mail were still coming in.

This is a welcome sight to the people living in the borough near Williamsport who say their mail, including bills and other important items, is coming late or even sometimes not at all.

 "Oh, the mail is delayed. Yes, bills aren't coming in. I just have to pay them online or just send them out because I keep some of my old receipts, and they don't show up, and I can't have them late,” said Jean Hanford

"Our mail's been delayed. There's been a couple days in a row that we received nothing at all, and then within a couple days later, you have a big stack of bills that finally come in,” said Virginia Stahl. "There's been things that my mom had requested in the mail that has never received it, so it's been rough with the mail."

A spokesperson for USPS says it is seeing a record volume of mail this holiday season.

Combine that with the challenge of moving all that mail while many postal workers are off the job due to COVID-19, and the result is what the post office calls temporary delays in deliveries.

The people Newswatch 16 spoke with say they understand the frustration with the mail delays, but the postal service is trying to do the best it can with a situation that is out of its control.

"2020 has been a challenge for everybody, especially the post office. More people ordering home deliveries on top of all the other mail that they already do,” said Thaddeus Baker, the owner of Thad’s Place, a pizza and ice cream parlor. “Take away some employees for COVID sicknesses and whatnot; it's kind of, we know what's going to happen.”

If your mail is delayed or hasn't arrived at all, the USPS has a list of things you can do:

  • Submit a missing mail search request at the USPS website.
  • File a claim (for insured items meeting the appropriate timeframe).
  • Visit your local post office location for assistance in filling out a missing mail request.
  • Call 1-800-275-8777 (1-800-ASK-USPS) to ask for the phone number of your local Consumer Affairs office regarding a missing mail request.