Barry Brannman outside of his home on Thursday in Snohomish. Brannman is one of many Snohomish-area residents who been impacted recently by mail delivery delays. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Barry Brannman outside of his home on Thursday in Snohomish. Brannman is one of many Snohomish-area residents who been impacted recently by mail delivery delays. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mail delays frustrate and perplex Snohomish residents

One woman waited two weeks for delivery. Then came “an avalanche of mail.” The Postal Service blames snow and staffing issues.

SNOHOMISH — For two weeks, landlord Barry Brannman has been waiting for two rent checks.

His tenants paid in late December.

But the checks have not shown up in Brannman’s mailbox northwest of Snohomish.

“I have mortgages to pay and need rent checks to pay the mortgages,” he said.

Other Snohomish residents said they have been frustrated over mail delivery delays that began around Christmas.

Brannman said a postal worker on Tuesday at the U.S. Postal Service office in Snohomish told him there was a pile of unsorted mail as tall as him.

“The explanation is that this particular post office has been hit by COVID and had a lot of employees out, and it was right after the snowstorm,” he said. “It was a bad combination of things.”

Brannman said he understands the challenges, but he has lost confidence in the Postal Service.

Stephanie Larson, who lives east of Snohomish, said she did not receive mail between Dec. 24 and Jan. 8.

“Every day we signed up for ‘informed delivery’ — you get an email saying what to expect that day,” she said. “Some machine was scanning it and taunting us with what we should be getting, but it wouldn’t appear for two weeks.”

As she waited, she fretted over receiving retirement and credit card information. Then, on Monday, an “avalanche of mail” arrived, Larson said.

A mail carrier delivers mail along Dubuque Road in Snohomish on Wednesday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A mail carrier delivers mail along Dubuque Road in Snohomish on Wednesday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

“I just hope it was a blip and not a sign of more things to come,” she said.

Outside the Snohomish post office on Wednesday, Don Miller said he and family members have been waiting about four days longer than normal to receive Social Security checks and prescriptions.

“We were a little worried about it,” he said.

In a written statement to The Daily Herald, U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson said COVID-19 and weather have delayed mail deliveries nationwide.

Despite local delays, the Postal Service reported it accepted more than 13 billion mail pieces and packages over the holiday season with an average delivery time of three days or less, according to a news release this month.

Meanwhile, however, proposed funding cuts may further delay future deliveries. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced last year a 10-year plan to slow mail delivery standards and reduce hours at some offices, as the federal agency faces $160 billion in debt.

In Snohomish, communication with the post office has been an issue.

David Preston, who lives south of Snohomish off Highway 9, said he and five neighbors went 13 days without mail.

Preston said he was unable to contact the local post office by phone or email, and his neighbor got little explanation when he went in person.

“It was extremely frustrating, and they had no communication at all,” he said.

People pick up mail at the Post Office in Snohomish on Wednesday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People pick up mail at the Post Office in Snohomish on Wednesday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Preston sent a letter last week to the Snohomish postmaster sharing his frustrations.

“You have dealt a stunning blow to trust in your operation, and I hope you will take steps to correct the gaping holes in your communications capability,” he wrote.

On Thursday, an employee at the Snohomish post office told a Herald reporter no workers were available for interviews.

An employee at another post office in Snohomish County, who asked to remain anonymous out of concern for her job, said many post offices are short-staffed as they work to clear a backlog from the holidays.

“Somebody is retired, or somebody is out sick, or everyone is overloaded,” the employee said.

Many postal workers have retired or quit during the pandemic, the worker said.

The mail carrier of nearly 30 years asked for the public’s patience and understanding.

“We are doing the best that we can,” the employee said, “especially with the snow.”

Jacqueline Allison: 425-339-3434; jacqueline.allison@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @jacq_allison.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Destiny Conner, 13, takes tags off of clothing at the new Volunteers for America storefront on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Sultan, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Sultan’s only thrift store, teens learn teamwork, job skills

Teens with the Sky Valley Youth Coalition “stepped up and created the store” on Main Street.

Marysville
Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Lynnwood City Council member George Hurst moves to postpone action on the vehicle license fees ordinance during the council's meeting Monday. (Screenshot/City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood to keep collecting a car tab fee and utility tax, for now

City Council members will consider repealing them in October when they write a new city budget.

Melissa Batson unfurls a Groundhog Day flag designed by her niece Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at her home in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Flags tell Monroe woman’s transgender journey — and more

The flagpole in her front yard is a visual for Facebook posts about who Melissa Batson is and how she got there.

Alyssa and Hart Bleifuss own and operate the newly opened Pie Dive Bar in Snohomish, Washington on May 17, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Pie Dive Bar opens in Snohomish. Yep, it’s exactly how it sounds.

Open a dive bar, but make it a late night pie bakery.

News logo for Food Forum. 20220418
A classic and simple recipe for sorrel soup

Visit your favorite farmers market to buy sorrel for this springtime recipe.

Most Read