CLAYTON, Mo. — Mail is piling up in Clayton, but not in residents' mailboxes.
"We love our mail carrier, Robert. He's been our mail carrier for 15 years or as long as we have lived here," Andrea Rosenblum said. "And I have not seen him since this whole debacle started."
Up until a few days ago, Rosenblum hadn't received any mail — and she wasn't alone.
"In the last two weeks, we've received only one mail delivery and that was this past Wednesday," explained fellow Clayton resident Becky Goldstein. "It looks to be only maybe a day or two worth of mail that we got."
Rosenblum's mail came the next day. She said it came a bit late and was scant.
The two women went looking for answers — talking to neighbors and visiting the post office.
"What we've been told is that they're extremely short-staffed," Goldstein said. "I think the number that was given was that there are usually 41 routes and only 14 people working."
5 On Your Side was unable to confirm Goldstein's findings, but we spoke with the Clayton postmaster who told us to call media relations.
USPS provided the following statement:
"We apologize for the disruption in service at the Clayton Post Office. We have experienced staff shortages at this location and are currently using available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes bringing in extra resources at this location. We have also been challenged by the recent accumulation of snow in our region and ask customers to keep the approaches to their mailboxes clear of ice and snow. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis.
"Mail delivery is ongoing from the Clayton location. We gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention and we encourage customers to reach out to their local postal station. Customers can also go to our website usps.com and click on 'Contact us' at the bottom of our homepage. Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service. In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the Social Media staff at USPS HQ, can provide help. For customer service, please tweet @USPSHelp. The Postal Service will diligently continue to investigate customer's concerns and correct deficiencies to improve service to our communities."
Rosenblum can corroborate Goldstein's story with her own similar experience. She said she stopped by earlier in the week around 8:55 a.m.
"I waited until they opened," she said. "I went in there and the postal worker was extremely kind, but apparently very stressed. She said more than half of the people called in sick (and) they couldn't get there due to weather."
Rosenblum and Goldstein both said that their mail has not been delivered for about 10-14 days, which precedes Monday's snowstorm.
Rosenblum even said she'd help sort it. Goldstein said she'd be OK getting fewer deliveries.
"If at least some resources could be allocated to delivering our mail even every few days, I would feel a lot better than just one delivery every two weeks," Rosenblum said.
The U.S. Postal Service has a few suggestions on their website for people missing mail.
Customers can also write the USPS consumer advocate office at United States Postal Service, Office of the Consumer Advocate, 475 L’ Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20260.
Clayton residents are not alone. Numerous people in the bi-state have taken to social media platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor to ask their neighbors if they too are missing mail.
The 5 On Your Side newsroom has noted missing mail or slow mail posts from St. Louis city, Kirkwood, Ballwin and Maryville.
A Marysville, Illinois, resident shared their recent Facebook post with 5 On Your Side. In it, they joke about the mail being "hand-carried" from Ohio.
In the past few weeks, U.S. state senators have joined forces to press the Postmaster General for answers on staffing shortages at USPS related to COVID-19 and subsequent mail delays.
Click here to read the letter to U.S. Postmaster General DeJoy from Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
NBC News reports DeJoy is finalizing plans to eliminate first-class mail and increase postage rates. The plan is in response to years of USPS' financial troubles.