Stores Get Scarce Helium In Time For Valentine's Day - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Stores Get Scarce Helium In Time For Valentine's Day

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

A nationwide helium shortage is forcing balloon prices up, up and away this Valentine's Day. And local retailers said unfortunately, there's no end in sight.

The owner at Gibney-Sims Florists said they haven't had helium since last April. A mining shortage meant restrictions were put on who could get the gas. Hospitals were at the top of the list for medical use.

Luckily, for Gibney-Sims, their Quincy supplier got some extra helium just for this Valentine's Day, but it came at a price.

"It's really cut down our business. Balloons were a good add-on sale for us. A lot of people needed them for birthdays or weddings and we couldn't supply them," said owner Amber Baxter.

Baxter said their new tank should last about six months, and she hopes the shortage will be over by then so they can keep supplying balloons.

In the meantime, she said they'll be open late tonight making sure they can get balloons and flowers out in time for Valentine's Day.

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