Memorial area flood victims turn to ABC13 for help with mail problem

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Mail delivered to the wrong address sits in a mailbox in the Memorial area. (KTRK)

For some Harvey victims, mail from FEMA or the insurance company is critical.

When some Houston victims weren't getting that mail, one group of neighbors in the Memorial area turned to ABC13's Ted Oberg.

Like many areas, the Memorial area was hit hard in Harvey. Many of the people aren't living in their gutted homes, but they still need that mail.

One of those victims, Betsy Barton, comes to her flooded home there almost every day to check on the progress at her home, see how the neighborhood is doing and pick up her mail.
But on the day ABC13 met with her, the mail in her mailbox wasn't for her.

"None of it is mine," Barton said. "I took my mail out, but those are packages I received yesterday or today are for someone else."

Betsy and her neighbors have tried to get their own mail at their own house.

"You can put a forwarding address on there - and am I going to get it? Am I not going to get it? Is it going to be returned?" asked Marge Lapham.

Betsy's daughter in California somehow got her forwarded mail without even filing a forwarding notice and sometimes she doesn't get mail at all.

"I've also been told that the carrier must have decided that my house was vacant," Barton said.

"I mean we're not getting any help," Lapham said.

And they really need it. Now, more than ever.

When you are a flood victim, you need checks and signed paperwork and there is no replacement for the old-fashioned mail.

"I have many things that are marked 'Return to Sender' and then I've talked to some financial companies and they said, 'Well we will not deliver anything until we have this sorted out,'" Barton said.

We get it, but we're not sure the post office does.

"The Postal Service appreciates its customers and strives to provide an excellent community service," a spokeswoman told us.

"A very small number of customers may be experiencing service issues," and then told us management at the Fleetwood station talked to both staff and those customers about finding root causes and solutions.

If they found one, they didn't tell us.

When we last heard from Betsy Barton, she said the post office had reached out to her, adding "I'm happy with the bit of progress."

We'll keep checking.

Do you have a story tip, idea or question for Ted Oberg Investigates? Let us know, at

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hometurn to tedUSPSmailmanhouston flood
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