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Hurricane Florence could affect prices of Indiana building goods

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Ball State University economist said Monday the aftermath of Hurricane Florence could affect prices for homebuilding materials in Indiana and across the country. 

No one will feel the aftermath of Florence — financially or otherwise — more than the people who live in the hurricane’s path. Florence damaged thousands of homes. 

“That’s going to impact the things that would be most obvious: drywall, carpet, plywood, 2-by-4s, roofing material,” Ball State economics professor Michael Hicks said. 

Hicks said he expects prices to rise from 10 percent to 20 percent. 

“The shock to the system should both increase prices in the short run but, I think most immediately affect the availability over the next several weeks of these products,” Hicks said. 

City officials said New Bern, N.C., sustained about $30 million in damage to homes and businesses.  The city is asking locals to organize their debris into three piles at the curb: yard waste, appliances and building materials. 

“If you need a couple sheets of drywall, I’d head to The Home Depot or Lowe’s right now,” Hicks said. “It’s going to be that acute in the coming weeks.”

According to Hicks, companies are already shipping extra materials to North Carolina. 

Lowe’s announced Friday it has expedited more than 2,800 truckloads of supplies including chainsaws and plywood. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the storms dumped nearly 2 feet of rain or more in some areas. “The strongest storm bands are dumping 2 to 3 inches of rain per hour,” Cooper said. “That’s enough to cause flooding in areas that have never flooded before.”

Hicks said he expects changes to local supplies will stabilize by midwinter. 

If you’d like to help with the recovery efforts, you can find more information in this article.