How to get a new mailbox if yours is damaged by a snowplow

Homeowners should file mailbox damage claims

OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio - Peggy Leonard of Oakwood Village is willing to do just about anything to protect her mailbox from snowplow damage.

Leonard explained how she confronted snowplow operators in an effort to get them to slow down.

"I went out there one day and I cleaned off my mailbox, and here they come down, so I stood right there so that they had to lift their plows," Leonard explained with a grin. "There were four trucks that went by, so there you go, I saved my mailbox."

Leonard showed NewsChannel5 how she built a homemade mailbox protection device, but it too was damaged by a heavy wave of snow.

She's among residents who have created a wide variety of homemade devices in an effort to protect their mailboxes.

Garfield Ace Hardware owner Kevin Jones showed 5 On Your Side how a homemade device can be crafted using a piece of sheet metal and two metal stakes. The portable mailbox shield will, in most cases, cost less than $30.

"Then in the spring, when you bring your furniture back out, just pull this out of the ground, put it in your garage somewhere, and it will be ready for you for next year," explained Jones.

Erie Products, located in Sandusky, Ohio is selling a device called the Slop Buster. The device is easily attached to the post holding your mailbox and works to dissipate the snow wave created by passing snow plows.

Consumers who believe their mailbox was damaged by a plow should contact their city hall and file a damage claim with the city law department, or street department.

The Ohio Department of Transportation also accepts damage claims if one of its plows were involved in the incident.

"There's an incident form," explained ODOT District 12 Spokeswoman Molly Leonard. "People can just go to our website, They go to the District 12 homepage, there's a feedback form. They can just fill it out with the route they were on and which direction the plow was going. The more information that they give, the better."

Homeowners should take pictures of their mailbox damage, obtain written estimates for a mailbox replacement and include the information with their damage claim.

Homeowners should contact their local post office if they aren't sure about the mailbox height and location requirements in their city before installing a new box.

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