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Return to Sender: Why some Iona neighbors haven't seen their mail in months

Posted at 10:59 PM, Mar 22, 2024

IONA, Fla. — In Iona, some people are facing a frustrating challenge: the absence of regular mail delivery. The issue significantly impacts the daily lives of those like Sandra Webb, a resident of Iona Ranch RV Park, who depends on the postal service for essential medical deliveries.

Sandra, who moved to the park after her home in North Fort Myers was destroyed by Hurricane Ian, finds herself in a difficult position. With her health limiting her mobility and having lost her car in an accident, the 10-mile journey to the nearest post office is a daunting task.

“I'm very frustrated,” Webb expressed, highlighting the lack of communication when her medications and medical supplies, shipped via the United States Postal Service, fail to arrive or are returned to the sender.

The halt in deliveries, as confirmed by a representative from the local post office, stems from a request by Iona Ranch management due to damaged and inoperable mailboxes.

This issue is not unique to Webb, other residents, including Jessica DeWitt, face similar challenges.

“They have mailboxes here, but they're broken. It makes it really hard to get anything personal done,” Dewitt shared, emphasizing the difficulties she's faced when trying to prove residency.

The situation has even affected civic participation, as Debra Hutchinson discovered when her inability to provide a physical address hindered her voting process. “We went over to the election, explained the whole thing to them. They want a physical site; you can't do a post office box,” Hutchinson explained, illustrating the far-reaching consequences of the seemingly straightforward issue of mail delivery.

A representative of the mobile home park disclosed plans to rebuild the entire park eventually, but until then, there are no intentions to repair the mailboxes.