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Lumber prices may be on the rise again

| Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004

As Floridians prepare for Hurricane Frances to sweep in and wreak havoc across their state, many have spent the week boarding up homes and businesses with as many sheets of plywood they can get.

Here in Armstrong County, many local lumber suppliers are waiting to see what effect the hurricane will have on their supplies.

At the 85 Building Center in Rural Valley, Manager Bill Spera said prices on the 4-by-8-foot sheets have remained high.

"We were hoping the prices would start to drop, but from the looks of it, that's not going to happen if the hurricane hits Florida," he said.

Although there has been no big rush on plywood supplies in the area, Spera and other suppliers expect there to be a shortage in the near future.

Dan Beresnyach, store manager at Busy Beaver in East Franklin, said he noticed a jump in prices after Hurricane Charley hit Florida last month and expects prices to remain high with the threat of Frances.

"It's definitely going to affect us here in Pennsylvania, but how and when we just can't say," he said. "If Florida gets hit hard, I'm sure that most of the plywood will be headed south to help rebuild."

Similar comments were received from Dave Brickell, sales associate at Clay-Wood Lumber in West Kittanning.

"We haven't seen any real effect on supplies yet, but when the hurricane hits, I'm sure we are going to see a drop in supplies and an increase in price," he said.

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