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Wendy Reuer, Published December 21 2010

Snow may slow but won’t stop mail

At the downtown Fargo post office on Monday, Bethany Cox of Fargo was hurriedly attaching stamps to her stack of Christmas cards.

She had already marched through the mounds of snow, conquered the long lines at the window and hurdled past the package drop to beat the Monday deadline for mailing cards and letters if she wanted them to arrive in time for Christmas. But Old Man Winter did not play nice with last-minute shippers and shoppers, packing the area with a punch of heavy, wet snow Monday. Later in the week, however, he may give travelers and last-minute Santas a reprieve.

Brad Hopkins, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said the region would receive up to 7 inches of snow by midnight Monday before it would taper off.

Luckily, high winds were not a part of the storm.

“The plows ought to be able to clean this one up pretty easily,” said John Wheeler, chief meteorologist at WDAY.

Thursday may bring another measurable amount of snowfall, Wheeler said.

“If you’re traveling, it looks like that one will hit harder south of here, in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, maybe southern Minnesota,” Wheeler said. “Here, it will be cold but not really frigid.”

Renae Ingersoll, Moorhead postmaster, said Monday’s winter storm would not impact deliveries.

“(The weather) certainly isn’t impacting the number of customers at our window. Today is our busiest mailing day of the year, and it’s living up to its name,” Ingersoll said. “We haven’t really had any issues with weather to date. Our carriers will still all be out. It may take us a little bit longer to finish the routes, but we’ll finish them.”

Debby Jaeger, owner of the 13th Avenue UPS store, said Monday’s weather certainly didn’t seem to deter customers who filled the office for most of the day hoping their presents could still make it to their destinations by Christmas Eve.

Susan Mjelstad also stood in the long lines Monday at the post office to mail Christmas gifts, but she wasn’t too worried the weather would cause a problem for delivery.

“If they get them by Christmas, that’s OK. If not, that’s OK, too. It’s not a life-or-death situation,” Mjelstad said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530