MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Now that the polar vortex is retreating and temperatures on the rise, the U.S. Postal Service is asking homeowners to clear sidewalks and porch steps of ice and snow to prevent mail carrier injuries.

In a press release Friday morning, when temperatures in the Twin Cities had already climbed above zero, USPS urged homeowners in the Upper Midwest to put down salt or sand on slippery areas and clear pathways near mailboxes of snow. The service says that in recent days mail carriers have recently suffered serious injuries due to slips and falls on icy and snow-covered surfaces.

The call for help comes after a blast of arctic air swirled over Minnesota this week, plunging temperatures well into the negative double digits. Wind chills colder than 50 below were felt in the Twin Cities, and hundreds of schools across the state cancelled classes for days on end. USPS even halted mail service Wednesday, during the coldest stretch of the deep freeze.

A warm-up this weekend will also help with clearing icy and snow-packed surfaces. Temperatures are expected to climb above freezing on Saturday and perhaps even hit 40 degrees on Sunday.

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