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Monday marks busiest mail day of year

Monday marked the busiest mailing day of the year for the UnitedStates Postal Service, and Brookhaven was no stranger to theholiday rush.

Long lines awaited customers anxious to mail cards, letters andpackages to family and friends.

Joe Allbritton, of Brookhaven, was running errands for his wifeMonday, and that included a stop at the post office to mail a stackof Christmas cards and send several packages to their nephews inSpringfield, Mass.

“The line was backed up, but the service was excellent,”Allbritton said. “The post office is always veryaccommodating.”

Despite the lines, he was not concerned about the delivery ofthe cards and packages.

“I have no worries that it will get there on time,” Allbrittonsaid.

The Monday of the last full week before Christmas is typicallythe highest volume mailing day of the year. The busiest deliveryday will be Wednesday, postal officials said.

Postmaster Charles Price said the volume of parcels receivedMonday was twice that which was received last Monday.

Although Monday was not the last day to mail packages in timefor delivery by Christmas, postal officials urge customers toconsider using an upgraded service.

“Priority Mail averages delivery in two to three days, but withmail volumes so high right now, that’s not guaranteed,” said KeithRushing, manager of customer services. “For the next couple of dayscustomers can send with Priority Mail, but by Wednesday or Thursdayat the latest, I wouldn’t recommend anything less than ExpressMail.”

The postal service will be delivering Express Mail packages thatarrive on Christmas day, Price said.

The Express Mail service is guaranteed to arrive in 1-2 days,depending upon the delivery destination.

Express Mail includes $100 insurance on each parcel and deliveryconfirmation. Additional insurance beyond $100 can also bepurchased.

Fees for Priority Mail service begin at $4.05 per pound. ExpressMail costs $18.80 per pound.

“It costs a bit more, but Express Mail is guaranteed to getthere on time,” Price said.

Annie Hudson, of Brookhaven, stood in line at the Brookhavenpost office Monday to mail a package to her grandson.

Even though the line was long, the wait was short, she said, andshe was confident that her package would get there byChristmas.

“It always gets there on time,” Hudson said.

Customers can avoid the long lines by using the carrier pickupservice, Rushing said.

“If the package has the correct postage on it, customers can goto the Web site and schedule a pickup,” Rushing said. “The servicethen notifies us, and we’ll pick it up.”

Customers can also use the “Click-N-Ship” service on the postalservice’s Web site. The service allows customers to purchase stampsand review shipping options and costs.