BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – For the last 34 years, Debra Fournet, owner of Party Paradise, located on Drusilla Lane, has been ordering the usual. The usual is three 244 cubic foot helium tanks. But the last time she tried to re-up an order with her supplier, Praxair, just a few days before Mother’s Day she was stopped in her tracks. “They said, ‘Sorry, we don’t have any and actually we won’t be supplying you anymore with helium,’” Fournet said. That’s bad news for Fournet. At times, 30% of her sales come straight from those happy birthday balloons or a parent just hours away from celebrating graduation. “We’ve been hearing that for five years… that there was a helium shortage or going to be, but we never had any problems getting helium before,” Fournet explained. Quiet rumbles have now turned into reality. According to national reports, helium is in short supply, forcing up the price per tank or making it completely unavailable. She says these days, people hosting parties are into big numbers, like the 36-inch number and letter balloons. Fournet says during Mother’s Day weekend, they had a lot of orders to fill and were forced to turn down new orders because the...