Wildfire smoke blankets east coast, former Wisconsinites react

NOW: Wildfire smoke blankets east coast, former Wisconsinites react

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Air quality warnings on the east coast have altered plans for airline passengers around the country as the federal aviation administration takes precautions.

FlightAware shows more than 3,000 delays, but only a handful of flights out of Mitchell International have been affected so far. The apocalypse-like conditions in New York City rage on, even tonight.

Safety concerns have again put the New York City skyline in the national spotlight, as a hazy cloud of smoke, floating down from Canadian wildfires, has wafted through the streets. It's heavier at times and smells like a campfire, sometimes orange, sometimes gray, according to residents we spoke with who have ties to the Milwaukee-area.

"It felt like a storm was rolling in but there was no rain or storm on the radar. I noticed when I came back in the office my throat was stinging and my eyes were burning a little bit," said Mary Lauder, a New York resident who formerly worked for a Milwaukee company.

"My eyes will start watering and it's hard to breathe. The air is like, it feels thick. It's completely blocked out the sun and you know the buildings have like this haze around them which is really unusual," said Nick Oram, a New York resident who grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Doctors advising those on the east coast to keep their doors and windows closed. Hospitals are anticipating an increase in asthma attacks. And people are wearing masks in numbers that mirror what we saw during the pandemic.

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