New Yorkers could wake up to hazy skies Monday morning as smoke from the ongoing Canadian wildfires is expected to reach the Big Apple by sunrise.
New York city officials sounded the alarm Sunday about the potential plume of wildfire smoke, two days after Mayor Eric Adams faced backlash for not issuing a more forceful warning, leading to heavy rains that flooded parts of the city on Friday.
Current forecasts suggest the air quality index will be around 55, meaning there is “some risk for people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution,” the city said in a statement Press release.
“While we continue to actively monitor potential air quality concerns for Monday morning, impacts are currently expected to be mild, although New Yorkers will likely see hazy skies in the morning,” Adams said in a statement.
“Tomorrow, New Yorkers should listen to their bodies, especially if they have underlying health conditions, and take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. We will continue to keep New Yorkers updated as the forecasts solidify,” the mayor added.
Zach Iscol, New York’s emergency management commissioner, said that while the state did not issue any health warnings for Monday, “everyone should stay informed and take appropriate precautions.”
The smoky start to the week comes more than three months after the city was enveloped in “unhealthy” air and shrouded in an eerie orange haze from the Canadian wildfires. The last time air quality fell to such poor levels was several decades ago.
New Yorkers wore masks over their mouths and noses when traveling outdoors, and several events across the five boroughs were canceled due to the unhealthy conditions.
The Adams administration was criticized in June for failing to adequately prepare city residents for the extreme air conditions – similar to Friday’s backlash that saw the mayor’s team confront the heat over its potential damage with heavy rains was not adequately addressed.