NEW YORK (PIX11) – Dangerous air quality levels in the New York City area caused by Canadian wildfires forced officials and organizations around the region to postpone outdoor activities Wednesday and Thursday.
The MLB postponed the Yankees-White Sox game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. A doubleheader is now scheduled for Thursday, weather permitting.
“I actually walked outside about 2 o’clock and was like – everyone else was like ‘woah.’ So if my reaction was similar to Major League Baseball and the world’s reaction, then I think circumstances change and it became apparent,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the decision to postpone the game.
Folks with upcoming flights in or out of the tri-state area should also keep a close eye on their carrier’s alerts. The Federal Aviation Administration is slowing traffic to and from area airports. Flights at JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia airports were delayed or canceled due to low visibility from the wildfire smoke.
Meanwhile, New York City’s Parks Department shut down beaches. And some beachgoers in New Jersey had to find other ways to keep busy, as some boardwalks were shut down.
The show didn’t go on for The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. The final dress rehearsal for the production of “Hamlet” was canceled Wednesday, and the first two performances scheduled for Thursday and Friday will have to wait.
Some schools also closed Thursday so children could stay home and out of the wildfire smoke. Elizabeth Public Schools and Yonkers Public Schools announced schools were closed Thursday.
New York City schools were already planned to be closed Thursday for a professional development day. All school staff were allowed to work remotely, Schools Chancellor David Banks said. When asked if classes would be canceled on Friday, Banks said that the decision would be made on Thursday.
The City of New York also canceled all outdoor activities by city-run entities and strongly encouraged organizations and private entities to cancel or postpone outdoor events.
“We continue to strongly recommend New Yorkers stay indoors, keep windows closed, perform outdoor activities if only necessary, and avoid going to outdoor events if they’re still scheduled. This is especially true for people who are more vulnerable – those with respiratory and heart conditions, older New Yorkers, and very young New Yorkers,” Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said.