Millions Across US Told To Avoid Driving

millions across us told to avoid driving

Traffic on southbound Interstate 5 during the afternoon commute heading into downtown San Diego on May 29, 2024 in San Diego, California. Americans in a number of states are being urged to avoid or limit driving in response to pollution fears.

Residents of multiple American states are being urged to limit or avoid driving gas and diesel-powered vehicles where possible today due to air quality fears.

The federal National Weather Service has issued a number of Air Quality Alerts across the U.S. meaning that "ground level ozone within the region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards."

Large areas of the Northeast, East Coast, Midwest and South are currently sweltering under a heat dome, which is created when warm air is trapped beneath an area of high-pressure for an extended period causing temperatures to surge. These conditions typically cause ozone levels to also surge, which can lead to lung damage, asthma attacks and breathing difficulties, especially dangerous for children and the elderly.

People in Ohio's Miami Valley are being urged to "carpool, if possible, bike, walk or take the bus instead of driving alone" to help improve air quality. The NWS also says those living in this area should only refuel their vehicles after 8pm, avoid idling any vehicles and avoid gas-powered lawn equipment. This advice is in effect until midnight tonight.

The same advice is in effect for Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio Dearborn County in Indiana and Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio until midnight with an alert having been issued by the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency.

In Colorado, an ozone action day alert is in place across the front range urban corridor, covering the counties of Douglas, Jefferson, Denver, western Arapahoe, western Adams, Broomfield, Boulder, Larimer, and Weld. People in these areas are requested to "limit driving gas and diesel-powered vehicles" until at least 4 p.m. on Saturday.

According to the NWS "the highest ozone concentrations on Saturday are likely for locations in and near the Denver metro area, especially for southern and western locations during the afternoon and early evening hours."

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has decreed an air quality alert for Shelby and Jefferson counties which is due to last until the end of Saturday.

Those in these counties are urged to "limit driving and combine errands," "limit engine idling" and "refuel cars and trucks after 6 p.m. The warning also says people should "avoid use of gasoline power lawn and garden equipment" and "use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum." People are advised to go inside if they find breathing difficult.

Similarly the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued an air quality alert covering the cities of Richmond, Connersville, Liberty, West College Corner, Brookville, Batesville, Milan, Versailles, Osgood, Rising Sun and Vevay until the end of Saturday.

The NWS is also warning people not to leave children or pets in cars in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware due to potentially lethal temperatures.

They said: "Do not leave young children and pets in unattended vehicles. Car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes." This heat warning applies until 6 a.m. ET on Sunday for some areas.

Separately firefighters in California are battling a number of ongoing infernos, including the 'Post Fire' which has been burning since June 15 and has rolled over at least 15,690 acres of land in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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