ALERT: Winds make air quality poor in West Rapid Wednesday night through Friday morning

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The National Weather Service and state Department of Environment and Natural has issued an air quality alert for dust for Rapid City, west of The Gap, effective from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon Friday.

The City’s Air Quality Office recommends the elderly, young and anyone with respiratory problems to avoid excessive physical exertion and exposure to the outside air during the alert. Northwest winds will increase early this evening from 30 to 45 miles per hour with gusts over 60 miles per hour.  The strong winds will continue Thursday with gusts around 70 miles per hour possible.  The winds will diminish Friday morning, officials say.

The strong winds will suspend fine dust in the air over west Rapid City, producing poor air quality.

Voluntary actions to reduce dust pollution include ceasing or reducing the manipulation of soil in construction, industrial and agricultural activities, and increase the use of pollution controls for soil stabilization, waste pits, stockpiles and construction sites.

Hourly dust concentrations are available on the South Dakota Department of Energy and Natural Resources’ webpage.

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