Donors line up to give blood in Westchester after Harvey

CHAPPAQUA, Westchester County (WABC) -- Residents lined up to donate blood in Westchester County Wednesday, all in an effort to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The turnout was far greater than expected, as the need is more critical in the devastated Texas Gulf region.

"Just the ability to be up here and being able to help someone down there is just a wonderful thing," donor Brian Jabloner said.

State Senator Terrence Murphy sponsors an annual drive to benefit the New York Blood Center, but the tragedy down south has created a new urgency. Murphy let residents know of the increased need though social media and word of mouth.

"It's New Yorkers standing behind Texans," he said. "Anything we can do to take care of these people, we're all in."

The flooding and damage in the Houston area means blood donation efforts there have essentially stopped. Most cities operate with only a day or two supply before running into a severe shortage.

"Things like O-negative, you'll be short in 12 to 24 hours, so you need to have donors coming in to donate on a constant basis," said Thomas Behrens, with the New York Blood Center.

And that is why some many turned out in Chappaqua Wednesday.

"Obviously, it's very important in Texas and Louisiana, so anywhere that we can help in the country, we might as well," donor Mike Gadigian said. "There's obviously not much more we can do from here, so whatever we can do to help at this point."
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