News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News

Actions

Heat, lack of wind lead to dangerous air quality in Central Indiana

extreme heat indy 3.jpg
extreme heat indy 2.jpg
extreme heat indy 1.jpg
extreme heat indy 4.jpg
extreme heat indy 5.jpg
Posted at 7:13 PM, Jun 20, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The high heat is stifling central Indiana, but the air itself could be just as risky for thousands of Hoosiers with breathing difficulties.

Knozone declared both Thursday and Friday as Knozone Action Days due to the dangerous air quality.

extreme heat indy 1.jpg

"If the sun is there and the heat is there and those pollutants are there, it causes ozone," said Lindsay Trameri of the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, which oversees Knozone. "Ozone helps protect us from the sun's rays when it's high up, but when it's created where we breathe, it's dangerous and bad for people's health."

extreme heat indy 5.jpg

Trameri says people at high risk, such as seniors, should stay inside during Knozone Action Days and other Hoosiers should try to clear the air by driving less and not filling up their vehicles with gasoline during this weather.

"We actually have higher than the national rates for both asthma and COPD," Trameri said. "When you combine those numbers with everyone who should be staying indoors, it ends up being about a quarter of our population."

extreme heat indy 4.jpg

Dozens of seniors took refuge in the Beech Grove Senior Center, which handed out free root beer floats to visitors on Thursday.

"The main reason for me was I needed a cooling spot because I'm getting a new air unit and furnace today," said Beech Grove Senior Center visitor Sondra Alford. "It has been hot. "As they say, you can cut it with a knife, it's so thick."

extreme heat indy 3.jpg
The Beech Grove Senior Center.

The senior center is an official Beech Grove cooling center for all ages during the high heat.

In addition to Thursday and Friday, Knozone previously declared a Knozone Action Day on Monday. They are the first three Knozone Action Days of the year; it declared 23 such days in 2023.