Plywood Supplies Running Low - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/02/04

Plywood Supplies Running Low

People all along the Southeast Coast are boarding up their windows and doors against Hurricane Frances. That's put a crunch on supplies, especially in Florida. But in the Coastal Empire and Low Country, you can still find plenty. While most tourists passing through like to pick up souvenirs, some are stocking up on something much more valuable.

Jack Mojica from Miami told us, "I was coming from New York so I said, 'Let me stop somewhere and get some plywood.' I've been through Hurricane Andrew and I know how it is."

Mojica is a commercial truck driver. Hurricane Frances cancelled his delivery job, so on his way home to Miami, he's making sure his family has what they need to weather the storm. "They're out of plywood over there," he said. "I've been talking to the family. They can't find any plywood, screws or anything. The stores are empty already."

Mojica is not alone. Plywood is sailing out of local Home Depots. On Wednesday alone, the store in Pooler sold more than 2,000 sheets, most to out-of-towners.

Home Depot manager Mike Cerrotti said, "We're getting a lot of customers who've been on vacation up at some of the other states. They're coming down I-95 and seeing Home Depot right off the interstate and stop here and get their CVX plywood."

Eric Gonzalez packed his truck and U-Haul full. It's sort of a housewarming gift to himself. You see, he's moving from Connecticut to his new home in Deltona, Florida. Right in the path of Hurricane Frances. "I just bought it Wednesday and found out a hurricane's coming," he said. "I have to protect the house, you know."

Most of the home improvement superstores still have plywood, but supplies are running low, so if you are planning to board up your windows and doors, you may want to get what you need now, just in case. Most stores open early and will stay open until at least 9pm. Some are extending their hours if customer need calls for it.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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