WNYers work to stay safe as Air Quality Alert takes effect

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A combination of heat, humidity, and a build up of pollution particles has prompted the Department of Environmental Conservation to issue an Air Quality Alert, effective 11 a.m. Wednesday.

That means it could be dangerous for some people to spend too much time outside.

Delaware Park was bustling early Wednesday morning with walkers, runners, and golfers trying to get their work outs finished before the air quality deteriorated. “I’m out early in the morning so that it’s not too bad,” explained Buffalo resident Donetta Rogers as she did laps around the park.

“It helps,” agreed another Buffalo resident, Michele Laney, “because once you’re a little bit later, you’ll have a tough time.”

Later in the day, with the air quality alert in effect, everyone needs to keep an eye on themselves to stay safe. These conditions can really hurt those with heart and breathing problems, especially. “It kind of makes it hard to breathe; Chest gets a little tight; Get a little winded,” said Shekea Lindsay, who was exercising early Wednesday morning before her asthma could get worse.

Poor air quality also can impact the elderly, so community members are urged to check on anyone they know who may be struggling in this weather.

The very young are also at risk, so leaders with the Parkside Community Association’s Summer Arts Camp said they were keeping a very close eye on their campers for any signs of trouble Wednesday. “Everyone went through First Aid training so we’re aware of what happens when air quality gets that way,” explained the camp’s assistant director Brian Nacov.

Nacov said the camp was ready to do what it took to keep the kids safe and cool. “We’ve got a hose, we’ve got water balloons, we’ve got squirt guns. I think we should be just fine,” he said.

A lot of people who talked to News 4 on Wednesday asy they’re taking steps to keep themselves safe in this weather. “Drink a lot of water and a lot of Gatorade,” suggested Buffalo resident Lori Morz.

“I’ll be inside, yeah,” said Henry Jernigan, when asked how he’ll cope with the Air Quality Alert.

Still others at Delaware Park said they’re happy to be out in these elements. “I think the weather’s great! It’s what we wait for every year after the cold winters,” said West Seneca resident Michael Logue, as he got ready for a game of golf.

“I’m outside a lot and I enjoy being outside,” said another golfer, James Bodecker.

Even so, the DEC is urging everyone to take steps to reduce the pollution levels to make the air quality safer for everyone. Click here to see their recommendations for reducing pollution and saving energy.

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