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Mike Copeland: Home improvement buzzing; Building permit roundup; Gas prices plummeting | Business

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In a sea of vacant parking lots covering much of Waco, the Lowe’s home improvement store at Franklin Avenue and New Road stood as an island of bustling commerce on Saturday before last. Despite the threat of COVID-19, exhortations to stay hunkered down at home and to maintain social distancing when venturing out, Lowe’s was abuzz, even as skies threatened and then delivered on the threat of heavy rains and street flooding here and there.

Apparently, folks are seeking treatment for cabin fever by pursuing ingredients to tackle that long-postponed list of honey-do’s.

“We’re selling a little bit of everything: lumber, Sheetrock, fence pickets. We’re staying busy,” said Jon Vanwinkle, a four-year employee at Lowe’s who now supervises the lumber department. “We have the normal contractors coming in, but we’re seeing a lot of new faces. I’m guessing that with offices closed, people are deciding to take care of home

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