Jan. 10, 2006 With first-class letters now needing 39 cents of postage, St. Thomas residents are scrambling to find 2-cent stamps to stick on next to their old 37-cent stamps, Postmaster Robert Allen said Tuesday.
"We underestimated the amount that would be required," he said.
Postage rates increased Sunday.
He said it appears that businesses bought 2-cent stamps in bulk. He said the Emancipation Garden and Sugar Estate post offices each sold more than 10,000 of those stamps since Monday.
Melvin Belleau, who works in operations for Global Vest Management, rated the stamp shortage situation a "seven" on a one-to-10 scale of inconvenience.
He said he went to the post office at Tutu Park Mall several times to get stamps only to find they had none. He then went to the post office at Lockhart Plaza and heard the same story.
"We have tons of letters. The letters are piling up," he said.
He said he finally resorted to buying three rolls of 39-cent stamps to get the letters "moving."
Allen said late Tuesday afternoon that the Emancipation Garden Post Office currently is the only one with 2-cent stamps. However, he expects the rest of the island's post offices to be re-supplied by Wednesday.
He said there is no shortage of the one-cent stamps needed to make 23-cent postcards carry the required 24 cents worth of postage.
Allen suggested that if people find they can't get two-cent stamps, they should buy some 39-cent stamps to use in the interim.
"Stamps don't go bad," he said.
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