Thursday November 1, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Mail delivery to Berkshire County has been slowed by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas said the havoc inflicted by Hurricane Sandy has affected the volume of mail reaching the county because the storm damaged postal facilities and closed airports along the East Coast.

"It all has an impact," Dugas said.

"We need a few days to recover and ask our customers to be patient with us," she said.

The Postal Service does not know when mail delivery will return to normal in the Berkshires.

"This is an unprecedented storm," Dugas said. "I can’t give you an estimate when everything will be back."

The postmasters in both Pittsfield and Lenox referred all Eagle inquiries to the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Postal Service isn’t the only delivery service affected by Monday’s storm.

UPS on Wednesday an nounced that service delays were occurring in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wash ington, D.C., and West Virginia.

In Pennsylvania, FedEx has closed facilities and stopped picking up and delivering packages in some areas that were affected by the storm, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

In March, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to transfer mail being processed for Berkshire County from a center in Springfield to a facility in Hartford, Conn. The change was expected to add an extra day to mail delivery in the Berkshires.

Dugas, who is based in Rhode Island, said the change in processing sites has had no effect on current mail situation in the Berkshires.

"I don’t think it was related to that at all," she said.

Although 91 post offices in the Connecticut River Valley were still without power on Wednesday, down from 130 on Tuesday, Dugas said the mail processing facility in Hartford is up and running.

"Right now, everybody is in recovery mode," Dugas said. "Management’s focus is on restoring power to the locations that need it."

Dugas said Berkshire County residents who have concerns about incoming and outgoing mail can access the Hurricane Sandy link on the U.S. Postal Service’s website, at www. usps.com. The link is located in the lower right hand corner on the Postal Service’s Web page.

"It tells you the status of mail at different locations," she said. "It can tell where there are offices that have issues, [and] facilities that are closed."

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.