For the first time in Hood River County history, mail was delivered on Sunday.
Fourteen carriers delivered an unknown number of letters, bills and flyers on all routes in Hood River and The Dalles.
The historic Sunday delivery happened because all incoming mail had been held up for nearly a week with the closure of Portland International Airport and the off-on closure of Interstate 84 to Hood River.
“By not having delivery days we owe it to our customers to get them one,” said postmaster Kevin Branson.
The mail build-up in Hood River was “very horrible,” Branson said.
“Here in Hood River we were able and capable of driving around but there was nothing to deliver,” Branson said.
He said Sunday was “like a Monday in that volumes were heavier because Sunday is not a delivery day.”
Like a Monday, but with three truckloads to process instead of the usual one that arrives on Sunday to deal with the next day.
“Mail is still coming through, heavier than usual,” Branson said, adding that the crew worked hard to get it all ready to deliver.
“They bore down and went after it,” Branson said. “The employees were generally enthusiastic, because they knew it would help us later in week,” Branson said.
Branson brought in coffee and snacks, and set to work helping handle mail and going to the computer to coordinate logistics with The Dalles, where all mail to and from Hood River is routed.
Branson said his staff was also committed to getting mail distributed to post office box customers on Sunday.
“It was a very productive day,” Branson said. “It helped us get a jump on (Monday and Tuesday).
“The more we move the more emptier the building gets,” Branson said. “And that’s the way we all like it.