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Funeral home experiencing wooden casket shortage

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CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) – Funeral homes around the country are experiencing a casket shortage due to the pandemic, including those in the Chippewa Valley.

Michael Horan owner of Horan Funeral Home in Chippewa Falls, said he’s had trouble getting ahold of wooden caskets.

He can normally get one within a day or two, but over the last few weeks, his orders are delayed a week or even a month.

He said surrounding states with more COVID deaths are in need of more caskets, causing a trickle-down effect to funeral homes like his.

If families do not want to wait for a specific wooden casket, they offer alternatives like a different type of wood or a metal casket.

“The cost is still the same,” Horan said. “I would only do equivalent to what they ordered.  Hopefully get the same species of wood and the coloring of the wood.  There’s different stains obviously so we try to get them in that same area that they were looking at before.”

Horan said the shortage has not affected prices, but added that cremations at the funeral home are up by 15 percent during the pandemic.

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