After nearly a week without mail, eastern Newfoundland will see letter and parcel deliveries beginning Monday.
The City of St. John's granted an state-of-emergency exemption to the Canada Post processing plant Thursday morning, according to Craig Dyer, the regional spokesperson for the postal union.
Dyer said clerks have been in the St. John's plant since 8 a.m., sorting through nearly a week's worth of mail that arrived on trailers from Port aux Basques.
Canada Post said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday afternoon that items destined for areas not affected by the ongoing state of emergency will be delivered as soon as possible as mail coming through St. John's International Airport is beginning to roll through.
For the Avalon East area, including St. John's and Mount Pearl, mail will be delivered starting next week. All outbound mail will be shipped out of the province to their destinations as soon as possible, Canada Post said.
"The bulk of the mail that comes into the province does get processed in St. John's, and that's because most of it gets flown in," Dyer said.
For that reason, deliveries throughout Newfoundland and Labrador have been backed up, despite the worst of the weather hitting only the eastern portion of the province.
Dyer said some deliveries had been possible from Port aux Basques in the last week, as trucks made dropoffs in major centres, including Corner Brook, Gander and Clarenville.
But distribution province-wide had been very much affected by the shuttered St. John's processing plant, he said.
He's expecting the next few days to be busy ones given the backlog. "It's just like Christmas for us," he said. "Processing is very difficult."
Delivery, too, may pose a challenge, with mailboxes potentially buried under snowbanks. Dyer said the coming days will likely have contractors out in "full-blown attack" mode to clear paths to dropoff points.
"Customers should continue to expect significant delivery delays as we work to recover," said a statement from Canada Post, which has repeatedly turned down requests for interviews.