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Published May 27 2012

Helium shortage makes for more expensive balloons for grad parties

GRAND FORKS — A helium shortage has made it more expensive to provide balloons for high school graduation parties.

The floral director at Hugo's grocery store at Grand Forks says there's been a shortage since Valentine's Day.

Maureen Sharpe says when that happens, hospitals and welding businesses get priority, and filling up balloons comes second. Hospitals use liquid helium to cool the magnets in their magnetic scanners.

Sharpe tells WDAZ-TV of Grand Forks that the price of a tank of helium has nearly doubled.