'We used to get helium any time ... now we're on a weekly call'
EUGENE, Ore. -- Securing a Valentine's Day staple for your sweetheart might be harder to get your hands on this year as the nation faces a shortage of helium.
While businesses around the area are already seeing the effects of the U.S. gas shortage, Dandelions Flowers and Gifts in Eugene said that they are prepared for the upcoming holiday.
"It is a little bit surprising to our customers that during the last few months, we've run out of helium and our suppliers don't have any helium available for us," said Shirley Lyons, the owner of Dandelions.
There are limited amounts of the gas commercially produced, and more and more of it is being put to use in medical and technical fields.
This means that the helium supply to some businesses that sell balloons has become more limited.
Lyons' business specializes in mainly floral arrangements and flowers, so she says she isn't too worried about the helium shortage.
"We used to get helium any time we wanted. That has changed to now, we're on a weekly call in for our helium," said Lyons.
For now, Lyons said that she's got her bases covered, and they're ready for Valentine's Day.
"We've already secured our extra helium. They happen to have additional helium this week," said Lyons. "We are going to take that tank in advance so we are prepared for the upcoming holiday."