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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, August 10, 2022


Sept. 13, 2001 – Mail between St. Thomas, St. Croix and San Juan will begin flowing by Friday, Postmaster Louis A. Jackson said. But he could not say when the ban on transporting first-class mail and packages on commercial flights would be lifted.
Jackson said he contracted with Boyson Inc. to take trailer loads of mail on a barge from St. Thomas to St. Croix and then on to Fajardo in Puerto Rico. The barge was to leave Thursday evening and return on Friday, traveling from Fajardo to St. Croix first and then St. Thomas.
The barge will be transporting only first-class inter-island mail and mail from the mainland — including priority and express mail — that may already have been in the pipeline in Puerto Rico when the Federal Aviation Administration shut down the nation's airports on Tuesday.
The new transportation link means that residents can again sent priority and express mail items among the territory’s islands and Puerto Rico.
Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the FAA mandated that no airplanes carry mail or packages when commercial flights resume. There is no word on when that prohibition will be lifted.
Mail between St. Thomas and St. John has continued to flow as usual because it goes on the barge.
Commercial planes bring in first-class, priority and express mail. Fourth-class mail such as magazines and catalogs comes by sea, and there has been no interruption of boat mail.
Jackson said customers can continue to post their first-class mail at the territory's post offices. Items bound for off-island destinations other than Puerto Rico will be sent when first-class mail service resumes, he said.
Mauray George, assistant manager of Federal Express on St. Thomas, said she didn't know when FedEx flights would resume.
The mail interruption is already causing problems for residents and businesses that rely on receiving checks, prescriptions and documents by mail.
Carmelo Rivera, president of the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, noted that in the Virgin Islands, unlike the mainland, the U.S. Postal Service can’t switch gears and ship mail by truck rather than airplane.
He raised the question of whether credit card companies would waive finance charges on bills paid late because of the interruption in service.

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