North

Iqaluit post office rents house to ease post-blizzard mail rush

The Canada Post office in Iqaluit took an unprecedented step to get mail to customers this week: renting a house down the street to store parcels.

Canada Post is asking people to pick up parcels as soon as they arrive

Canada Post rented a house about 100 metres down the street from its Iqaluit location to help ease storage woes. The city's only post office has been overwhelmed by the amount of mail after a string of blizzards. (Nick Murray/CBC)

The Canada Post office in Iqaluit took an unprecedented step to get parcels to customers this week: renting a house down the street to store parcels.

The post office has been slammed with incoming packages and mail, as a flurry of blizzards and subsequent flight cancellations in Iqaluit created a backlog down south. Once flights resumed, mail started coming in at three times the normal volume, overwhelming the office.

'We're not getting the parcels out the door as fast as they're coming in and space became an issue,' said Sue Browning, the area manager of Iqaluit's post office. (Nick Murray/CBC)

"It's incredible. It's amazing is what it is," said Sue Browning, Canada Post's local area manager.

Iqaluit is home to roughly 7,000 people, all of whom get their mail from one post office location. So to help ease the burden, Canada Post rented a house about 100 metres down the road for parcel storage, asking many customers to pick up their packages from that site.

"We're not getting the parcels out the door as fast as they're coming in and space became an issue," Browning said.

She's worked for Canada Post for more than 20 years and says she's never seen anything like this.

"I've met many people on the streets and they say they've never experienced blizzards like we have in the past 45 days, so that tells a story."

Canada Post hopes to be cleared out of the temporary storage home by April 23. (Nick Murray/CBC)

Browning says the post office typically takes in "thousands" of letters and parcels at this time of year.

The post office has extended its hours by two hours on weekdays and is opening on Saturdays until next week. Experienced staff from southern Canada have also gone to Iqaluit to help.

Browning hopes her team will be back delivering all parcels from the post office by Friday, and cleared out of the temporary storage home by April 23.

She's encouraging people to pick up their parcels as soon as they arrive.

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