USPS quickly restored service in Alaska last week after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake threatened to interrupt deliveries to the Northern Hemisphere’s most famous resident: Santa Claus.
The earthquake struck Nov. 30 near Anchorage, knocking out power to homes, schools and businesses. The Postal Service suspended mail delivery and retail operations, although everything was back to normal within days.
It’s a good thing, too: The Anchorage Processing and Distribution Center handles hundreds of thousands of letters to St. Nick from children around the world, as well as grown-ups seeking the famous North Pole Station postmark.
Soon after the quake, Alaska District Marketing Manager Melissa Medeiros went to the Anchorage facility to ensure the precious mailpieces were safe.
“What to my wondering eyes did appear were postal employees scurrying to process and deliver the mail after the earthquake — and that included sacks full of mail destined for North Pole delivery,” Medeiros said.
Pyung Song, a parcel post distribution machine operator and a 30-year employee, was one of the workers who helped keep the mail moving.
“I love bringing smiles to children’s faces as one of Santa’s elves,” Song said.
Alaska District Manager Ron Haberman praised employees for rising to the occasion.
“Many of them are personally affected by the earthquake, and yet they are displaying great commitment to our customers and the mail that is so important this holiday season,” he said.
Medeiros is also impressed.
“I’m proud to be part of such an amazing, resilient postal family, and we want to reassure the children of the world that ‘we got this,’” she said.