EAU CLAIRE (WQOW)- Some of you may have seen your neighborhood mail carrier out and about after dark in recent weeks, and local postal workers say the main reason for it is a staffing shortage.
Officials from the United States Postal Service in Eau Claire say they've been short-staffed throughout the pandemic, with currently more than 10 vacant positions at the city's branch, and many more throughout the Chippewa Valley.
One mail carrier told News 18 a package influx throughout the winter has also put an added strain on postal workers, forcing them to begin routes earlier and stay out later in the evenings.
"If you're putting in overtime or extremely cold days in the dark, it does add stress," said Corey Grotte, city letter carrier for USPS in Eau Claire. "It's something that you kind of get used to, you try to adapt to the daytime vs. nighttime delivery, but it's part of that customer service model."
Grotte said the employee shortage could continue for years to come. In the next five years, half of all USPS workers are expected to retire or become eligible to retire.
Despite the shortage, Grotte says mail continues to be dropped off by their scheduled delivery times with minimal delays.
For more information on how to work for USPS, tap/click here.