Image: Postmaster General
Dan Afzal  /  AP
Postmaster General Jack Potter, left, talks with Louisiana letter carrier Cliff Vogel and his wife Belinda Wednesday. Vogel and his wife lost their home during Hurricane Katrina.
updated 9/14/2005 4:26:22 PM ET 2005-09-14T20:26:22

Full mail service has resumed in more than 80 percent of the post offices affected by Hurricane Katrina, Postmaster General John Potter said Wednesday.

More than 30,000 Social Security checks were distributed to evacuated persons at special pickup points, Potter said. He estimated that 100,000 people have filed change-of-address forms with his agency after having to relocate as a result of the storm.

Speaking at a meeting of postal-related businesses in Madison, Wis., Potter praised postal workers, noting that many came to work even though their own homes had been destroyed or damaged.

He was joined at the session by Cliff Vogel, a displaced letter carrier from New Orleans who has been relocated temporarily to deliver mail in Milwaukee.

Just 23 post offices remain completely out of service, largely in New Orleans and south of the city, postal officials said. They said 425 offices that had been closed down now offer full service and another 60 are providing partial service.

The postmaster general also told the meeting that work is continuing on transforming the post office into “a more customer-focused, service-oriented and technologically advanced delivery service.”

In the process, the Postal Service will reduce costs by an additional $1 billion a year for the next five years.

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