The Postal Service is playing a crucial communications role in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Although power has been restored to only 15 percent of the island, USPS employees have been able to make contact with sick and vulnerable residents and report the information to authorities, Reuters reported this week.
“We might know the general area where people need help, but the mail carriers are the only ones who really have the exact address,” a Federal Emergency Management Agency worker told the news service.
The article, which calls employees “heroes” of the recovery, notes that letter and package deliveries are helping people on the island stay in touch with loved ones elsewhere.
The story also describes the creative methods used by residents whose mailboxes were destroyed by the storm.
One woman re-attached her box to the front of her home using a clothes hanger, while another tucked her box under her arm during a recent visit from her carrier.
Alfredo Martinez, a San Juan letter carrier, said his customers are happy to see him — including one who showed her sense of humor.
“If you are bringing me any utility bills, go away,” she said.