Postal workers battle snowy, icy conditions

News

Not everyone can stay off the roads or avoid a trek through the snow.

For Matthew Bregande, an 11-year mail carrier, it comes with the job.

Bregande says he starts getting into the mindset for a snowy day like today from the moment he wakes up.

He knows he’s not only preparing to drive in the snow, but to walk several miles.

No matter what, safety comes first for road conditions and dressing for the cold weather.

“Footwear, base layers, gloves, headwear, jackets, proper socks, maybe an extra pair of socks,” said Bregande about his winter work attire. “We’re on our feet all day long. I know my route’s six-and-a-half or seven miles of walking.”

Bregande says rain makes for the worst possible weather conditions because there’s simply no way of escaping it.

“There’s no way to stay dry,” Bregande said. “You can layer in the snow.”

Our NewsChannel 9 crew spent some time walking part of Bregande’s route that goes through the Westcott area.

If it’s too dangerous for Bregande to make his way to your mailbox, you won’t get your mail.

Bregande says it’s a “judgement call” — if your mail carrier feels unsafe walking on your stairs or walkway, they won’t take the chance.

He’ll hang on to it and check back the next day.

“Even though it’s light and I do it every day, I know those steps,” said Bregande as he took a look at home he delivers mail to every day. “I know they’re not broken, but you don’t know with the weight of the snow what it’s done overnight, so you don’t want to take any extra risk.”

Local postal managers are asking for the public’s help in keeping sidewalks, pathways, and approaches to mailboxes free of snow and ice.

“Keeping mailboxes and surrounding areas clear will prevent injuries and let our employees provide the best possible service, even in the worst conditions,” says Thomas Kelley, district manager for the Postal Service’s Albany District.

So far, this winter season, Syracuse Police have not issued any violations for un-shoveled sidewalks, according to the mayor’s office. 

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