ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – From mowing lawns, home construction, road work, and delivering the mail, many people who work outside kept doing their jobs despite the hazardous smoke.
Jason Raner was among a group of workers painting a house on Church Street. “What do you think about the smoky conditions today?” asked 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina.
“I think it’s crazy, it’s going nuts.”
“Have you ever seen or felt anything like this before? asked Dubina?
“Nope, no” Raner replied.
In Steuben County, the Commissioner of Public Works told us most road crews started the day working inside their vehicles or heavy equipment. By the early afternoon, the air quality got worse. All crews were directed to finish up work and head back inside.
“I have never seen smoky conditions like this before in my life” said Tyler Van Skiver, who is part of a crew working on a new bridge in Corning. “You can definitely smell it out here. Your eyes do get watery after a while but you can deal with it. I mean, at the end of the day you’re coughing and stuff, but we’re pretty used to it out here” Van Skiver added.
The Commissioner of Chemung County Public Works, Andy Avery, sent 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina this statement:
We have pulled our County and City DPW employees from working outside. They are assigned to duties that keep them inside or within a vehicle. Their health is very important to the DPW and County Executive.
We have also closed the County compost facility for the day.
Commissioner, Chemung County Dept. of Public Works
Postal workers are known for working through rain and snow. Tuesday, poor air quality also did not stop deliveries. The Postal Service declined to go on camera, but sent us this statement:
Employee safety remains a priority for the Postal Service. As such, we continue to monitor local conditions and communicate to our employees appropriate measures.
Strategic Communications Specialist, United States Postal Service
The New York State Department of Labor also encouraged workers to limit their time outside while air quality advisories are in effect.