Smoky air in Omaha-metro impacting healthy people

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:41 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There is a blanket of smoke over the Omaha-metro. It’s coming from wildfires in Canada.

It has lightened up a bit this afternoon, but the impacts from it are still dangerous.

“I noticed when I got up this morning it was real hazy.”

Roger Brandt rides his bike 3 or 4 times a week. Today he hopped on, even with smoke filling up Omaha’s skyline. He says the smoke is better than the heat streak we’ve seen this week.

“I don’t think it’s going to impact much. I’ll know after 10 miles or so if it’s going to be a reason to breathe hard or not,” said Brandt.

He’s not alone. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge was filled with people getting some exercise today.

“I’ve only been about 20 minutes into my walk. I have another 20 back home so hopefully, that will be fine but no, as of now I feel completely normal and fine,” said Jordan Carrera.

But experts say that might not be the best idea because this amount of smoke is bad for us all.

“Even an individual that thinks that they are healthy, breathing in this air they can get irritated lungs, scratchy eyes, and maybe even some health effects they didn’t even know existed,” said Russell Hadan, Douglas County Health Dept. Air Quality Supervisor.

Dr. G. Daniel Brooks specializes in asthma and allergies. He says for people who already have difficulty breathing—the hazy air makes symptoms much worse.

But, his office isn’t as busy as he expected. He says that’s because his patients have felt the air quality dropping for weeks.

“Everyone I was worried about was just hiding inside. They took one step out of the door and they went back in,” said Dr. Brooks.

Staying inside is probably your best bet for the rest of tonight and tomorrow. Our 6 News First Alert team says the smoke will likely stay even with rain potential.

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