PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Temperatures are expected to soar above 90 degrees again today, which has prompted the Department of Environmental Protection to declare a code orange Air Quality Action Day for the Pittsburgh area.

Officials said an orange level indicates unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people like children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems.

PennDOT crews are some of the people most affected by the Ozone Action Day – suited up in necessary protective gear, surrounded by heavy equipment and constantly moving in 90 degree heat.

“Pretty used to it, but you never really get used to it,” Kevin Chatary, a PennDOT worker, said. “I mean, it’s kind of drastic, but you know, it’s a necessary evil with this industry.”

Even during the morning hours, the layer of haze could be seen over the city as the sun just began to beat down, which is one of the reasons so many runners like Alyssa McFarland were getting their outside exercise done early.

“Today I heard it’s just supposed to be extremely hot this entire week, but exercising to me is very important because it starts my day off well and I get an early start to the morning and have it done so I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day,” said McFarland.

The Department of Environmental Protection says on days like today, it’s best to stay indoors in the air conditioning, especially for children and the elderly.

But if you have to be outside, make sure to take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated.

“I think the best thing you could do to beat the heat is drink a lot of water,” said Tom Williams, who was out enjoying the morning sunshine.

Officials are advising pet owners to keep their furry friends inside today as well.

A number of cooling centers are also open today and Thursday to help people to beat the heat. Click here for a complete list.

The Air Quality Action day has been declared for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.


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