Pandemic causes lumber shortage

Lumber log jam

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - At White's Lumber in Watertown, you'll see stacks of lumber piled up in the warehouse.

But it's a tease.

Some of the business' orders were made six weeks ago and still haven't arrived.

And there’s no timetable for when they will.

Vice President Ted White says it has been a problem since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Manufacturers, the sawmills that provide the lumber, can't meet the demand for treated wood.

“The workforce at the various manufacturing facilities is not at full steam,” he said.

White says the pandemic has many of those workers still at home.

 Because of that, Farney’s Home and Building Center, outside of West Carthage, has had to limit how much treated wood its customers can buy.  

White’s and Farney’s both said that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay home and work on home improvement projects, causing lumber to fly off the shelves.   

“We have had a lot more people commenting that they can’t take this trip, that they can’t go where they want to go, so they are going to work on the house and spend that extra money,” Farney’s store manager Brian Lachausse said.

White says most people are looking for treated wood, but there may be other options.

“So, being able to be a little flexible on what the supply has available for you at that time has been able to work for some people, also,” he said.

White says your best bet is finding an alternative to treated wood or planning way ahead.

But you’ll likely need a little patience either way.

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