Semi dumps thousands of pieces of mail in Youngstown


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By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mail Spill In Youngstown

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When a load of mail spilled from a truck near the Youngstown Post Office some good citizens pitched in the help clean up.

Junk mail or some important items that were to be in the mailboxes of Mahoning Valley residents and businesses in the next couple of days are likely going to be delayed.

That’s because tens of thousands of pieces of mail fell off the back of a truck at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, covering much of Front Street between Market Street and the Covelli Centre.

The driver of the 47-foot-long tractor-trailer said he was bringing the mail from Cleveland to the downtown Youngstown post office on South Walnut Street when the weight of the metal bins that held the mail in back of his vehicle broke two metal bars, opening the rear doors and spilling its contents all over Front Street. The man works for a company that brings the mail to Youngstown from the Cleveland distribution center.

In between panicking about the spill and trying to clean it up, the driver — who declined to give his name as he is concerned he will be fired because of this — said, “I’ve never seen such a thing like this before.”

A couple of postal workers, along with numerous others, picked up the mail off the street. Most of the clean-up was done in about an hour.

Councilman Paul Drennen, D-5th, and a Vindicator reporter were leaving a “Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy” meeting at the Covelli Centre when a motorist yelled to the journalist about the mail spill.

“I was afraid the mail was going to blow away,” Drennen said. “I couldn’t believe what I saw: all that mail all over the street. I texted people in the meeting to help, and they came.”

Among them was Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th.

“It was amazing to have a group of citizens, councilmen, city employees, the media helping out,” Ray said. “That’s just Youngstown in action. That’s the Youngstown spirit: helping people.”

Ray even got to direct traffic for a while.

Among the group were a few postal workers, who seemed overwhelmed.

One worker, who declined to give his name, said at one point, “Nobody should touch this. You’re technically not allowed to do this.”

But realizing the gravity of the situation, the worker said he was “deputizing” everyone in order to help get the mail off the street.

The worker called the mail “bulk business mail,” a nice term for junk mail.

Among the items were hundreds of mailers for Cusinart, Tractor Supply, American Express credit card offers, and plenty of magazines.

But there were also some packages, and Drennen said, “There was a lot of personal mail there.”

It could have been a lot worse. The metal bins that held the mail fell out of the back of the truck in a hurry. A couple of the bins were so heavy that a postal employee said a forklift was needed to pick them up and move them off the street.

When the mail fell out of the truck, no one was behind it.

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