“Wednesday at 2:16 pm I walked down to the Hudson River near Pier i Café (Riverside Park and 70th Street) and took these photos. The visibility and air quality were terrible due to the Canadian wildfires, but it does make for some eerie photos. Normally you can see the George Washington Bridge looking north, but not today.” — Randy Enochs
Should Randy have been outdoors? How dangerous is the smoky air enveloping the city? How long will it last? Before we return to the only bright spot in this latest disaster — the photographs — here are some sites we found to answer your questions. (Click on the links to read the full articles.)
THE CITY did a masterful explainer, addressing questions, such as:
How worried should you be?
If you are in what officials call a vulnerable or sensitive group — the elderly, children and people with respiratory, heart or other health issues — you should take this seriously. Stay inside and monitor any symptoms as they arise, health officials say. The risks are higher for pregnant people, children and the elderly and those with chronic lung and respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. Particulate matter exposure can worsen heart and lung diseases, trigger asthma attacks and heart attacks.
And all New Yorkers should limit their outdoor activity. “Avoid going outside unless you absolutely have to,” said city health commissioner Ashwin Vasan on Wednesday.
Gothamist put out a list of cancellations so far, including:
“The Public Theater has pulled the plug not only on Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal for its new Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Hamlet,” but also the first two performances on Thursday and Friday nights. According to a company spokesperson, the theater will continue to monitor the situation and follow guidance from the city and the Parks Department, and hopes to start performances over the weekend.”
And The New York Times answered the all-important question, How long will it last?
“The worst period of hazy, unhealthy air in New York City will last from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, according to a New York Times analysis of computer forecast models. The haze will most likely vary in thickness through the overnight hours and could last through the day Thursday.”
And here’s a site shared by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal that shows current air quality by zip code.
Now, back to the photographs readers sent us. Please send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add to the thread.