Fact Check: Pandemic shortages | WHEC.com

Fact Check: Pandemic shortages

Nikki Rudd
Created: June 29, 2021 07:40 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We've seen all sorts of shortages over the past year, from toilet paper to chlorine to lumber! Some items are back on the shelves, but others are still hard to find. 

News10NBC's Nikki Rudd has a fact check on where things stand now.

Here's a fact: lumber prices are going down! They've dropped about 50% since their peak in May, but it's still going to cost you a lot more than it did a year ago. 

Another fact: the chicken wing shortage continues! Perhaps you've noticed the prices going up lately. 

"They've doubled in price," Lee Selover said. "It's crazy!"

Selover owns Windjammers in Charlotte, a popular place in town for wings. 

"What is going on with chicken wings?" Rudd asked. 

"I'd like to know myself," Selover replied. 

Like many restaurants, Windjammers had to raise chicken wing prices. Six wings now cost more than $8. 

"Let's talk prices. What were you paying, and what are you paying now?" Rudd asked.

"About a year ago, we were (paying) $80 a case. Now they're $160, and they're not going down," Selover said. 

Now there's talk of wings going up to $200 a case.

"I did ask some of the wholesalers, and they said that a third of the workforce is gone," Lee explained. 

No doubt COVID-19 has impacted the industry. We're seeing labor shortages across the country. 

"You ask anybody. COVID. COVID. I'm so sick of hearing COVID. COVID," Selover said. "You know, it's like come on! Let's get our act together, and let's start producing again."

Experts say chicken production is picking up, but wings aren't the only problem. Selover says the cost of oil is way up, and so is the price of those containers to get your wings to go. 

"The large containers, they were like $26 a case, and they went to $52. Now they're $86," Selover said. 

That's a more than 300% increase. 

"It's just crazy," said Selover. 

"Do you see an end in sight?" asked Rudd.

"No, I don't," Selover said. "It's almost like they want to put all the small guys out of business." 

We're seeing the same trickle-down effect in the pool industry. Last month, we told you about the chlorine shortage. News10NBC reached out to the folks at Pettis Pools in Hilton. They say chlorine continues to be in short supply. On top of that, there are issues finding the plastic bottles or cardboard to package it. 

As you can imagine, we could be seeing the effects of this pandemic for months to come.

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If you have an idea for Fact Check, email Nikki Rudd at nrudd@whec.com.


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