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LOCAL MAIL CASUALTY OF TERRORIST ATTACK

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Sept. 12, 2001 – Mail and package delivery is another casualty in the terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Federal Aviation Administration has mandated that when commercial planes start flying again, they will not carry mail and packages.
Postmaster Louis A. Jackson said that the last first-class mail delivery arrived around 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11.
"We usually get three or four shipments each day," Jackson said.
First-class mail shipments will not resume until the mandate is lifted. However, Jackson said fourth-class mail — magazines, catalogues and parcel post packages — is continuing to arrive as usual via ship.
Those items are being delivered at the post office and by letter carriers.
Jackson said first-class, priority and express mail as well as packages will continue to be delivered between St. Thomas and St. John because they are shipped by barge. However, those items sent between St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix cannot be shipped because the planes are not flying.
"But we’re looking at the logistics to see if we can do this by boat," he said.
The Postal Service is exploring the feasibility of shipping first-class mail here by boat, but Jackson cautioned that it would not be a decision made locally.
He anticipated postal workers would work non-stop from now to Christmas to deal with the backup as well as the holiday rush once mail starts arriving by plane again.
Jackson said stores were already receiving shipments of goods planned for sale this winter when the airports closed.
St. John businesswoman Lonnie Willis said that Virgin Islanders are used to mail interruptions when hurricanes hit so this will not be a major catastrophe.

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