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Neighbors not getting mail, medication; U.S.P.S. says road isn't safe to turn around

Published: Aug. 23, 2016 at 12:08 AM EDT
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One is sick; the other elderly. Both rely on the mail for their medication. But about two weeks ago, they said it stopped.

The U.S. Postal Service said Briggs Drive in Harriman is not safe for a mail carrier to turn around.

"It's terribly frustrating because no one else has a problem getting in or out of here,” said Mike Crow, who lives in one of the homes not getting mail, he said, adding UPS and FedEx have no trouble getting to the homes.

"The street hasn't changed in over 56 years. The only thing that's changed has been the postal carrier,” Crow said.

A spokesperson for U.S.P.S. said four homes on Briggs Drive aren't getting mail delivered to their mailbox because there's no safe place for the carrier to turn around.

The post master wrote a letter at the end of last month telling those neighbors they had 10 days to put their mailboxes at the bottom of the hill.

"With my age and my health problems that I have, there's no way I can do it,” said Myrtle Aydelotte.

She's 86 years old, lived in her home for 56 years, and gets her medication in her mail. She also rarely drives.

"If you have to depend on your medicine, it's very important that you have your medicine," Aydelotte said.

She said her mail started back up Saturday. But her neighbor Sandy Blair still isn't getting hers.

“I want my mail,” Blair stated.

She's also dealing with some medical issues and gets her medicine in the mail, too. She said she can't get to the bottom of the hill on her own.

"No consideration whatsoever as to their health, their issues, to anything concerning the individual people up here,” Blair said of U.S.P.S.

A Postal Service spokesperson said it's not safe for a mail carrier to back up more than 100 feet, and two driveways on Briggs Drive are blocked by chains.

Crow said it's only been a problem after the postal carrier backed up and hit his granddaughter's car, parked to the side of the road.

The Postal Service said they took measurements of the area. So did Crow and Local 8 News. Local 8 News does not know how USPS measured the street, but our reporter measured the distance from the last mailbox on the street to the first driveway the carrier can back into at 91 feet. Crow's measurements were under 100 feet, too.

As for baking into driveways, the U.S.P.S. said only if the driveway is empty. Aydelotte said she makes sure her driveway is accessible. Crow said most days, his is, too – so he's not sure why he's still not getting his mail.

Crow went to Congressman Chuck Fleischmann's office about the situation Monday.

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