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Work and wait: Dayton postal worker delivers mail with home in limbo

Dayton USPS
Posted at 6:15 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 09:47:17-04

DAYTON - As the Elmo Fire continues to bring so much uncertainty, one act of day-to-day life remains steady in the small community of Dayton.

US Postal Service Clerk Katelyn Hedeen shows up every day to make sure her friends, family and neighbors receive their mail.

“It’s definitely an important job, I’m just doing what I can,” said Katelyn

Katelyn and her team of four workers deliver mail to the small community of Dayton and the surrounding areas. She’s been keeping a watchful eye on mail and packages for everyone under evacuation.

“Anybody can pick up at any time when the windows open, so 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, Saturday I’m open from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.”

Katelyn lives up the road from Dayton in the small community of Proctor. The fire is especially hitting close to home as she's been evacuated since Monday and doesn't know if her house is still standing.

“That’s the hardest part with being evacuated, we have no idea what the state of our home is, you know they say the fire has reached about here, but you have no idea if it’s touched your house or not.”

Katelyn has lived in Procter for 12 years; she and her fiance Brindan are now staying at a family friend's property in Lakeside as they patiently wait.

“It’s so unpredictable, it’s got everyone on pins and needles.”

Katelyn described Monday’s evacuation as frantic, grabbing everything she could on autopilot.

“We just packed everything and left, I grabbed everything for my wedding except for my wedding dress, and then it kind of died down the next day so my husband was able to go back in there and grab my wedding dress, but as of now we’ve got everything that we absolutely need out of there and then some,” added Katelyn.

Katelynn and Brindan are set to get married at the end of the month,

“Up at Mountain Meadows up at Lake Mary Ronan, so we’ve got to find a different spot to go,” said Katelyn.

Katelyn said she’s proud of the way her small community takes care of one another.

She’ll keep doing her job at the post office with a smile and a helping hand for those who need it.

“We will all make it through, we always do, especially as a community as one giant family, we take care of each other.”