Mail carriers endure cold, snow to guarantee deliveries

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - The wind and snow prompted many businesses owners to stay closed Friday, but postal workers still had to make their rounds.

Ron Isaak, a veteran postal worker, trudged through the snow and overcame drifts to make sure residents got their daily delivery.

Mountains of mail are handled at the Bismarck Processing and Distribution Facility.

On days like Friday, the job of moving all those packages and letters is a heavy lift.

"These are some of the most difficult days because we don't know how the weather conditions are going to change throughout the day," said Heather Weiand, Postmaster.

More than 70 routes were dispatched, 15 on foot.

Isaak has been walking his route for 16 years, but "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of (Ron's) appointed rounds."

"It’s a normal day for me," said Isaak.

Just getting to his destination on a snow day is challenging.

"Unless I get stuck, there's always that possibility that would delay you for another half an hour," said Isaak.

That's exactly what happen, Isaak got stuck and walked most of his route.

Once carriers begin walking their routes, winter clothing can’t take all the bite out of winter weather.

"They have icicles built in their beards, they have mustache filled with icicles," said Weiand.

His customers are always happy to see him, especially on days like Friday.

"We're just thrilled that we can receive mail on a day like today, because our local paper could not make it, so we need some entertainment," said Gail Fahlgren a Bismarck resident.

Isaak estimates that all the snow banks and drifts he walked through only add an extra half hour to his delivery schedule.

And he took it all in stride.

"It brings the kid out of you," said Isaak.

Isaak has been making deliveries since he was a kid, he started on a paper route when he was 11, and has been a mail carrier for 16 years.

The Postal Service is reminding residents to shovel their walkways and steps, along with adding salt to help their mail carriers stay safe during their deliveries.