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Tight blood supply predicted following winter storm

Wind chills and frost don’t stop the need for blood donations, even if they can stop blood drives from happening in the first place.

Kim Jensen is the accounts manager for the Red Cross of Eastern South Dakota. She said scheduled blood drives simply aren’t happening.

“Normally we have a shortage of blood that hits in January and February, but it’s going to be earlier this year," Jensen said. "I know that today I am working to cancel the one in Worthington, the one in Jasper, and the one in Sioux Falls on Friday.”

But extreme weather exacerbates blood supply in its own way.

“These blizzards they impact the donations, but we don’t need less blood," Jensen said. "There’s more accidents when we have blizzards so that means more usage. Plus, all the cancer patients and babies being born - that continues whether the weather cooperates or not.”

Jensen said it’s more reason to consider donating.

“We are working to cancel those appointments for the rest of this week, so watch your emails and we’ll reschedule you as we can," Jensen said. "Next week we have a couple of drives both in the southeast part of the state and the northeast part of the state. If you can get over there and the roads are clear please get out and donate, we’d sure appreciate it.”

Appointments for coming blood drives in Sioux Falls and Watertown can be made on the Red Cross website.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture