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Air quality warning issued for Mat-Su Borough

By Bonney Bowman 7:37 PM May 14, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Residents in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are being urged to stay inside.

Borough leaders issued an air quality warning Wednesday morning. High winds are kicking up dust and silt off the glacier and the mountains. The lack of rain is only making things worse.

Borough leaders said they’ve had reports from local clinics of more patients coming in with breathing problems. That’s why children, seniors and anyone with heart or lung issues are encouraged not to go outside.

“We take our health very important and it may look really sunny out and what’s a little wind going to do, but this particulate matter can really wreak havoc on those who have breathing issues,” said Lauren Driscoll, borough planning chief.

Driscoll said the air should clear when the wind dies down, and if the area gets some rain.

Some valley residents say this is pretty normal for this time of year. But many, like Jim Summers, say they take extra precautions when the air is really dusty.

“I have some eyedrops and I go in and put them in every couple of, half hour or so,” Summers said. “Yeah it’s gritty, it’s bad. I was going to wear my contacts today but I thought, not in this wind.”

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