Pandemic may cause some popular summer products to be in short supply across KC metro

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OLATHE, Kan. — The Kansas City metro could soon feel the pinch of the nationwide shortages on several products.

Store workers want to avoid another situation like the one we saw with hoarding toilet paper, but they also want you to be aware of the pandemic’s ripple effect on popular summer products, like chlorine. 

Some of those items to keep pools and families safe may soon be in short supply. Retailers are doing what they can to make sure we don’t see a deep dive in products.

“This year, we are seeing a chlorine shortage,” Family Leisure President Dennis White said.

That chlorine shortage is nationwide. White said it’s happening for a number of reasons. 

First, there’s an increase in demand. More people bought pools during the stay-at-home order. Another is lack of employee causing production shutdowns. 

“Then on top of that, last fall there was a fire at one of the major chlorine producing plants that did about 30% of the nation’s chlorine production,” White said.

Right now, White said their Olathe store is doing OK on supply.

They anticipate getting more product in increments this summer, rather than the usual up-front, bulk order. 

“We hope that it will be the same amount throughout the summer,” White said. “But as anything that’s COVID-related, you never know what tomorrow’s going to bring.”

White said there are pricing increases across the market, not only from the shortage, but also trucking issues and expensive gas. 

Pandemic problems cause a ripple effect. 

According to the National Tan Truck Carriers, up to 25% of tank trucks are sitting idle because companies are having trouble finding qualified drivers. 

Several drivers left the business last year when gasoline demand dropped during the pandemic-rrelated shutdowns. 

Experts said this problem may lead to a shortage in gas in the Kansas City area. 

In these times, White said patience is required. 

“There isn’t a cause for panic or for people to be going out and over buying stuff,” White said. “It just is going to take a bit longer than what we’re used to.

Last year, there was a hot tub shortage and that continues. White said most places are about six month out from getting in orders. Family Leisure is only about two. 

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