People in eastern Carolina adjust plans due to air quality

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 8:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -With air quality in North Carolina a “Code Orange” Thursday on the air quality index, which means what we breathe in could be unhealthy for certain people, those at risk were adjusting plans.

Mary Moore of Winterville sits on her porch every morning but opted not to Thursday.

She already has a hard time breathing and knew bad air quality would make it harder.

Moore says, “I got hard to breathe and started wheezing and all that.”

Elliot Tardif, NC Air Quality Division meteorologist says, “The air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and by sensitive groups, we’re talking about people with heart or lung disease, asthma, older adults, young children, teenagers, active people. Say if you’re a bicyclist and you’re planning on doing a 100-mile ride today, maybe consider moving that to another day.”

Tardif says smoke from the wildfires out west and in Canada is polluting the air. “Wildfire smoke is loaded with fine particulates.”

That creating a haze, which was another reason for Moore to stay inside. She says, “I had to turn the air conditioning on and the fan just to get a lot of oxygen air in so I can breathe better.”

The good news is forecasters say the smoke from those west coast wildfires will subside on Friday in Eastern Carolina. State air quality experts now predict Code Yellow, or moderate air quality, on Friday for central and eastern North Carolina. A Code Orange will continue for the western third of the state.

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