Florida's hurricanes will have an economic impact in Oklahoma

Tuesday, September 7th 2004, 9:44 am
By: News On 6

Floridians picking up the pieces following the second devastating storm in less than a month. All those homes ruined, and acres of produce either damaged or destroyed. What's the effect on you and me?

The News on 6 reporter Rick Wells has some of the answers.

Homes and businesses will need lots of lumber to rebuild. More than a foot of rain in some areas means thousands of acres of produce, that can't be harvested. It stands to reason there will be shortages for them yes, for us, maybe not.

Folks in Florida are buying lots of plywood and it just stands to reason there will be shortages in other parts of the country, maybe, but David Blackburn, a Tulsa homebuilder says not here. "What we may see is a small spike in the price of sheet goods, like they're using on this house here, this paneling."

He says it's not the storm surge in Florida causing shortages of lumber in the US but a surging economy in China. "The Asian market is what's taking up and causing all the price hikes and shortages."

Well then, Florida grows lots of fruit and vegetables; surely there'll be shortages, perhaps in areas supplied by Florida growers. But most of what in the Reasors’ produce department came from Texas or California.

The experts tell us it's early yet to determine how Florida crops were affected, but shortages and price jumps should be temporary.

The heavy rain throughout the southeast United States will wash out acres of cotton, and although devastating for some local economies. There is just too much cotton grown world wide for there to be much effect on the price of blue jeans.

The folks at Home Depot told the News on 6, 1,500 trucks loaded with supplies have been sent to re-supply stores in Florida, things like plywood, generators, chain saws, water, etc. Two of those trucks came from Tulsa’s downtown store.