Due to the effects of Hurricane Irene on the national blood collection system, the American Red Cross of Licking County will be holding a special emergency blood drive on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Due to the effects of Hurricane Irene on the national blood collection system, the American Red Cross of Licking County will be holding a special emergency blood drive on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the Red Cross office at 196 S. Fifth St. in Newark.

Because of the path of Hurricane Irene, hundreds of blood drives along the East Coast had to be canceled over the past few days. This, combined with already struggling blood inventories, put an enormous strain on the national blood system, according to a Red Cross release.

To register to donate blood, call (800)-RED-CROSS or go to www.redcrossblood.org. All donors will receive a free T-shirt.