Governor Hochul: "This is an evolving situation. It's something we cannot control, but we know it is not far from our borders. And a significant wind shift can bring that same kind of conditions down to New York State once again. We are not there now, but tomorrow could be a different story. I want everyone to be vigilant"
AUDIO of the event is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Let me address another topic that is very much top of mind for people - and that is the quality of the air.
Right now, I'm in the North Country, and last week, we were able to avoid the impacts that we felt from the Canadian fires that were really felt strongly in places like Syracuse, Western New York, Long Island, and New York City. Much of the state was impacted last [week]. We are closely monitoring every single second for any change in wind shift that could bring the impact of the air quality and take it to a negative place.
Right now, we have good to moderate conditions in most of the state. That means that people who have very serious or sensitive conditions should be aware. But that could change at any time. Right now, we're watching the Canadian wildfires, and just above the North Country in Canada, not far from here, we're starting to see an increase in the numbers, the numbers that indicate that it's not safe. So, that has not occurred here in New York, but I want to let New Yorkers know: as Governor, I've directed all my teams, DEC, and our emergency teams to make sure that we give alerts to people in advance, so they have a notification of when it is not safe to be outdoors.
So, this is an evolving situation. It's something we cannot control, but we know it is not far from our borders. And a significant wind shift could bring that same kind of conditions down to New York State once again. Not there now, but tomorrow could be a different story, so I want everyone to be vigilant.
Continue to monitor your cell phones. Go to the weather app and you can find out what the numbers are. Again, in the North Country, 35 to 50 is normal. 50 to 100 is an area where people with high sensitivity should be concerned. Anything over 100, people need to start paying attention. We've seen those numbers dramatically last week.
So again, I want people to be vigilant, we are in State government. We're just trying to get the warning out so everyone is very cautious and careful about their health and the health of their families.