HONESDALE, Pa. — With millions of people shopping online, the United States Postal Service has been overwhelmed, trying to keep up with all the packages since the pandemic started. Now, it's the week of Christmas, and there are still many people hoping their gifts arrive on time.
"I did see that the online stuff was getting delayed. And I have some stuff that right now it's delayed getting here. My wife does, so do I. It's to be expected. It's what happens when you order too late," said Tony Komar.
A shortage of employees due to COVID-19 restrictions hurt processing time. Then, the winter storm we had last week didn't help either.
We reached out to USPS about the delays. A spokesperson sent Newswatch 16 a statement saying, "We continue to flex our network, including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process, and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season."
The post office in Honesdale had a continuous stream of people dropping off cards and packages.
Alison Martin says she's noticed the extra effort from her mail carrier.
"They're delivering on Sundays to us, which is pretty crazy. I don't ever remember that before. I think I had a package the other day at 7:20 in the morning," said Martin.
Samantha Damato was also at the post office to ship out a gift. She says waiting until the last minute wasn't the best idea knowing how busy it is this time of year.
"I would say patience is key right now with everything going on. If you send out the gift and it's getting there, it's the thought that counts, and you know what? It's a little surprise after the holidays. I think it'll still make people smile," said Damato.
Many of the people we spoke to outside of the Honesdale Post Office say they know these essential workers are overworked, and they hope that people who still have to go to the post office show a little bit of compassion.
"Just remember everyone's doing their best and just to kind of take a step back and remember what Christmas is all about," said Martin.
If you still hope to get mail to where it has to be in time, the Priority Mail Express deadline is December 23.