If you've tried to buy a bouquet of balloons lately for a birthday party or to cheer up a sick friend, you may have been told you're out of luck. That's because a nationwide helium shortage is bursting Michiana's balloon sales.Glenn Collier spends most of his time at Miami Florist & Gift shop in South Bend making fresh flower arrangements. Wednesday morning he got a balloon order, but had to turn away the sale."They wanted 150 balloons for a party. I had to turn down the work because I don't have the helium to do that," says a frustrated Collier.
Collier has a 500-pound helium tank that's almost empty, so he bought a small tank at a department store for backup. That's because his usual supplier, Praxair Inc., with locations throughout northwest Indiana, says there's a huge helium shortage and can't get him any more.
"I'm sitting with all this balloon inventory and I have no way to use it," Collier says.