Helium Prices Inflate as Supply Runs Short - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Helium Prices Inflate as Supply Runs Short

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Visit any florist in T-town and the Valentine's Day pressure is on to have everything ready.

"I used to could get it same day, and now sometimes it'll take a week or so," said Sheryl Campuzano of Ladybugs.

The thorn in this year's bouquet? The ever rising price of helium.

"Yes, there's a shortage and they're just giving it to medical, for medical reasons right now," said Debbie Wilson.

At Ted and Debbie's Flowers, their supplier suggested they just prop up regular balloons on sticks.

"I was gonna buy two tanks for Valentine's day and they wouldn't let me have them, he said when we get them all you can have is one," she said.

The causes, according to the Federal Helium Program, include delays at a plant in Wyoming, and a drop in natural gas prices which have reduced helium production.

"The cost has gone up outrageous," said Sheryl.

At Ladybug's they normally eat the inflated expense, which is as sizable as their cat Butters.

"It's probably almost doubled in the last year," she said.

So don't expect your florists employees to be greeting you with high-pitched voices just for the fun of it.

"They better not touch it," laughed Debbie.

Unless your name is Butter's, and it's a recommended part of your diet.

"Lighten him up a little," laughed Sheryl.

(Out-takes included in online video version.) 

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