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LifeShare Blood Center in Texarkana is encouraging people in the area to donate blood ahead of Tropical Storm Barry making landfall in southern Louisiana.

Barry is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall Friday night or Saturday.

"Historically, LifeShare donors have turned out to help after major events like September 11, Hurricane Katrina and other disasters," said LifeShare Regional Director Elizabeth Cunningham. "But it's the blood on the shelves before the rain begins to fall that helps save lives during and after the storm."

Blood donated with LifeShare goes through extensive testing to make sure it's safe to transfuse. This process takes about 48 hours. Donors who want to help need to donate as soon as possible to ensure the blood is ready in

LifeShare has many mobile drives planned for the week that could be canceled because of the weather. The most up-to-date drive information can always be found at

Donors in Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas can give at the Texarkana Donor Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 4020 Summerhill Road, Texarkana, Texas.

For more information, call 903-794-3173.

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