Post office stops mail delivery to Southside neighborhood after damage from Hurricane Hermine

Ken Amaro reports. 9/21/2016

JACKSONVILLE,Fla.—Against the bright blue skies a pine tree usually looks majestic and harmless, but for one tree in the Southside - and those around it - it's not.

"For the last two weeks, they've been saying due to a safety hazard they don't want to deliver our mail to us," says Ted Smith.

Smith and his neighbors live in the Sans Pareli community and are dealing with a headache after Hurricane Hermine rolled through. After strong winds from the storm damaged a few trees, they found themselves in a dispute with the postal service.

Yup - the postal service.

"I haven't had any mail going on two weeks," Smith explains.

The storm revealed the 60-foot pine near the section of mailboxes is dead. A safety manager with the postal service deemed it was a safety hazard to letter carriers and stopped delivery.

"My mom gets medicine by mail and I know there's mail there with medicine in it," says Carolyn McLaughlin.

Residents were told their mail will be on hold at the Atlantic Beach Post Office and they can pick it up there. But McLaughlin said when she tried on Tuesday she was denied.

"I said that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard," she says.

The row of empty mail boxes represent more than 200 property owners.  Fred Hubber said if the city can't remove the tree and if the post office won't deliver, he will take care of the problem.

"I can't afford to be without my bills. If I don't make my payments on my bills they charge me $35 for everyone I got that could run me two to three hundred dollars," he says.

So he paid a tree service to remove the pine tree. Debbie Fetterly, spokesperson for the post office, said service to the residents will resume immediately.


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