Helium in short supply
Mon, 07 May 2012 15:52:05 GMT —
Prices at the pump usually go up because of supply and demand.
Supply and demand is also running up the cost of another gas these days ... helium.
That means finding balloons for graduation and Mother's Day could be an issue this year.
Helium is a by-product of natural gas, but since it was so warm this winter, not as much natural gas was produced.
"We did buy an air compressor. It's not going to look the same, but we will always carry these balloons, we'll have to find different ways and tricks to blow up balloons," Tammy Smith with Hy-Vee Floral Department said.
Floral departments aren't the only businesses that use helium.
Hospitals used the gas to cool down M.R.I. machines, and welders also use it.
Smith says hospitals get first priority, then welders, then floral departments.