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Donors needed: Winter storms causing blood drives to close across Virginia

The winter storms across the country have caused blood drives to cancel. Hampton Roads residents are encouraged to donate.

SUFFOLK, Va. — The winter weather is impacting people and organizations across the nation, and this includes the American Red Cross.

The organization said the storms have canceled blood drives in 30 states.

On Thursday the storms caused them to lose more than 300 blood units in just Western and Central Virginia. Fortunately, a blood drive was able to be held inside the East Suffolk Recreation Center.  

Each bag of blood can be life-saving.

“After my C-section, I was given blood. Again I think it if happens to you it makes you think differently about it,” said donor Linda Noe.

Noe wanted to give back. She understands some blood drives have been impacted across the country and in Virginia.

“But when you’re in a situation where you need it, then it’s important to you. So try to remember when you see an ambulance go by, you see the rescue squad, you see police... they’re dealing with people who need blood and once they get to the hospital it’s imperative,” said Noe.

American Red Cross Virginia Region Communications Director Kristopher Dumschat explained the winter storms forced blood drives to cancel in Virginia.

“We have lost as of today, so far, over 300 units of blood just from today’s cancellations. So that’s a big number to make up,” said Dumschat.

Dumschat explained Red Cross volunteers are working in shelters from Texas to Virginia. Many of them are working virtually.

“But It means we still can provide then assistance whether is financial assistance for lodging or emergency supplies,” said Dumschat.

The Red Cross has set up 150 shelters in six states. On Wednesday they’ve housed more than 2,700 people.

Visit the Red Cross' website to find a place near you where you can give blood.