The difficult job of rebuilding communities pummeled by Hurricane Ian is expected to be made even worse by a problem that’s lingered since the early days of the pandemic: snarled supply chains. Ian tore a path of destruction across Florida…with damage estimates ranging from $65 billion to $100 billion. Construction groups warn that labor shortages and supply-chain difficulties are likely to hamper rebuilding efforts. “Across the board, we are seeing challenges in obtaining all types of building materials in a reliable time frame,” said Steve Cona III, of Associated Builders and Contractors in Florida’s Gulf Coast. …Compounding those challenges are ongoing labor shortfalls, supply-chain issues and the fact that material costs remain unpredictable, he said.
While there is an oversupply of material in North America, disruptions from Ian may cause logistical issues transporting lumber, according to Kevin Mason of ERA Forest Product Research. Russ Taylor, of Russ Taylor Global said “the whole building sector is going to shut down for a while until things dry out and waters recede. While supplies from lumber mills have been improving in 2022, there are still issues getting wood to market due to a shortage of rail cars and trucks. The storm will slow deliveries to affected areas, creating a glut of lumber and sending prices lower. On Thursday, lumber futures in Chicago fell as much as 6.9% to touch the lowest price in more than two years. …Scott Harris an insurance claims consultant, said “properties flooded with several feet of water, that are boarded up, devoid of light or airflow are quickly at risk of mold damage.”