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CNN Today

Red Cross Spokeswoman Says Wintry Weather Affecting Blood Supply

Aired December 20, 2000 - 1:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: From Birmingham to Bangor, New Orleans to England, the weather outside is frightful. The storm that brought snow, ice and slush to the Appalachians and points south yesterday pushed out to sea overnight, and this is the result -- a rude awakening to folks in New York, unless, of course, you're a kid or a tow-truck driver.

Snow is no stranger to Boston, but then again, neither are the slick roads, the closed schools and long delays at Logan International Airport -- how long? Try three to four hours for flights that haven't been canceled outright.

The word spin has taken on a whole new meaning in Washington today: It's what Washingtonians are doing in their cars if they try to drive on roads that haven't been salted. Joggers, of course, can spin, too. D.C.'s mayor says bridges and highways are getting top priority from the snowplows and salt trucks, but they'll try to get into the neighborhoods as soon as they can.

Everybody likes a white Christmas, or claims to, but the weather is causing problems for some other important parts of the holiday season. The Salvation Army, for one, says kettle donations are down, yet shelters are filled to capacity.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, ice has put a real strain on the blood supply.

Red Cross spokeswoman Angela Parker joins us now by phone to talk about that.

Why is it happening, Angela?

ANGELA PARKER, RED CROSS SPOKESWOMAN: Good afternoon.

Well, our donors couldn't get in to us, and we, of course, couldn't get the blood mobiles out to our donors, so that knocked us out of a couple of days of collection, and we're down about 1,500 units -- and unfortunately, the need for blood keeps going whether we can collect it or not.

WATERS: Is it this particular time of year that this causes a mini-crisis? PARKER: We always do have a little bit of a hard time around the holiday season just because schools are closed and businesses are closed and people are traveling, so there are more trauma accidents, but the ice really didn't help us this year.

WATERS: So, what do you intend to do about it?

PARKER: Well, I'm actually dressed in a Santa suit, and I've been standing out on a street corner waving donors in -- so we're doing lots of different things: we're going out to various department stores and doing everything we can to encourage people to get out and give the gift of life.

WATERS: Are those folks responding to your Santa suit?

PARKER: I'm getting lots of honks -- I'm not sure.

WATERS: Well, I'm sure you'll have some luck, Red Cross spokeswoman Angela Parker, on the line with us, and we thank you for that.

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