Prior Lake neighborhood left without mail delivery for nearly a week

Judy Tinnes relies on the Postal Service to pay all of her bills, but last week, she noticed something was off. The mail she put out on Monday was still in her mailbox three days later. 

"There was no notice in the box or anything, so I didn’t know what to think!" Tinnes told FOX 9. 

She wasn’t alone in missing a mail carrier – the entire neighborhood was, too, so some homeowners went to their local post office to get some answers. 

"Our regular carrier was on vacation, and… They are so short staffed that they had no one to replace," said resident Beth Wiley. 

USPS sent FOX 9 the following statement on the delays, which reads in part: 

Local management is aware of delivery issues and taking steps to address the concerns. We appreciate the patience of our customers. We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and are proud of the efforts of postal employees as they define essential public service every day.

Staffing shortages have plagued the Postal Service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued retirements aren’t helping the situation. To help fill staffing gaps, USPS is hosting job fairs throughout the state of Minnesota on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Prior Lake Post Office, located at 4455 Village Lake Drive SE, will be a hub site for applicants. 

As for Beth and Judy, their mail service is now back to normal, but they say there are no guarantees a big delay like this won’t happen again in the future. 

"I’d just like to get my mail every day and get it picked up every day," said Tinnes. 

"And if we don’t get it, it would be nice to have an explanation," added Wiley.