Jacksonville issues air quality advisory

High levels of ozone expected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville has issued an air quality advisory for today because of elevated levels of ozone.

City officials said "an exceedance of the Ozone Standard occurred" Thursday, and elevated levels of ozone are expected again today and likely again Saturday.

Current weather conditions are believed to be contributing to the elevated ozone concentrations, officials said.

The last air quality advisory was issued in May.

Children, the elderly and sensitive individuals should take steps to avoid exposure by staying inside or refraining from strenuous outdoor activity. If exercising outdoors, substituting less vigorous exercise (a walk instead of a jog, for example) can be helpful. In addition, outdoor activities should be planned for times when ozone levels are lower, usually in the morning or evening hours.

The city of Jacksonville's Environmental Quality Division maintains a dedicated website that includes the most up-to-date Air Quality Index information for the area. Links included in the website will redirect you to the EPA AIRNOW website, which collects the Environmental Quality Division's data and provides the most current ozone air quality data, including an air quality forecast for Saturday for Jacksonville.

Meanwhile, with temperatures in the upper 90s and feels-like temperatures in the 100s, many people have been doing all they can do to beat the heat, even in their own homes.

"I have two ceiling fans and three ceiling fans going, and it's still like an oven in there," one Jacksonville resident said. "So I do have the opportunity to come to Mary Singleton (Senior Citizens Center)."

Supervisors with the center said they saw an influx of business Friday due to the heat.

The heat can be dangerous for a lot of people, including the elderly, young kids and those who have problems breathing. Penny Price uses oxygen at home. Her focus is staying out of the sun as long as possible.

"You've got to be so careful," Price said. "You have to think about where you're going and what you're going to do. I know I'm going up that sidewalk street to Winn-Dixie and take my time in there getting what I need to get."

The city does not expect to reissue an air quality advisory on Saturday.