Angela Goheen returned to her route this week to find the landscape has changed.
“Some houses are totally gone,” said Goheen, a Marathon, FL, rural carrier. “There’s lot of flooding and devastation.”
Throughout the southeastern coastal areas and the Caribbean, employees like Goheen are helping USPS restore service in Hurricane Irma’s aftermath.
For letter carriers and rural carriers, getting back to work after a major storm presents challenges — like finding places to deliver the mail in neighborhoods where many boxes have blown away.
“I get out and look for people when there’s no mailbox,” said Goheen. “I’m looking for normalcy.”
Some employees are back on the job while dealing with storm-related hardships of their own. The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program are available to help workers affected by the storm.
Goheen, whose house is still standing, became emotional thinking about the dedication these colleagues have shown.
“They don’t even have homes and they’re out here working,” she said.
Customers appreciate the effort, too.
Marathon resident John Dick was happy to see Goheen pull up to his box.
“I was surprised to see her,” said Dick, who gave her the mail he couldn’t send out before the evacuations. “She goes out of her way to be helpful.”