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COVID-19 pandemic leads to lumber shortage

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Local builders and contractors said the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a shortage of treated lumber across the community.

Employees at Pro Build Supply said it's a problem of supply.

"Our supplies and distributors only have half the workforce," sales representative Tim Genenbacher said.

But he said demand is also to blame as well.

"People are getting a stimulus check, they're like hey were at home and we've got all this time to kill and we've always wanted this deck," he said.

Genenbacker said no one is being spared, not even the big box stores.

"I think last Monday or Tuesday we had three people come in from Home Depot needing treated lumber because Home Depot's shelves were bare," he said.

The result is builders and contractors are having to wait weeks for supplies they're used to getting in days.

"We were just short two deckboards and it took us two weeks to get those two deck boards," contractor Derek Price said. "Just because of the shutdown."

Price said prices have also doubled causing him to rethink how he does business.

"When considering those contracts you know, we think of a payment schedule and am I going to have to order everything in the beginning, to be able to have it two, three, six months from now," he said.

Genenbacher said if you've got a project that needs doing, get it done before it's too late.

"Let's say you need 10 2x10's," he said. "You buy it right there or we can't guarantee you the prices.

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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