/> "We have seen the markets in general firm up," Probst said. "Not a frenzy, but a tad bit frothy." Lumber supplies have been strong all year, despite demand from the national construction boom, according to Random Lengths, an Oregon-based publisher of industry information, news and prices. Prices for lumber and plywood were down considerably from a year ago, Random Lengths reported before Katrina. However, local suppliers -- who buy from wholesalers such as Washington-based Weyerhaeuser and sell to home builders and the general public -- reported price hikes for 4-by-8-foot plywood and oriented strand board on rising weather-related demand even before Katrina, said Perry Rice, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. "It'll be several months before there'll be any impact," said Rice, whose business is Rice Custom Homes. "Just like our own May 3 (1999) tornado, we didn't feel any impact for three or four months until they started rebuilding."
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