Dept. of Ecology warns of dust during high winds - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dept. of Ecology warns of dust during high winds

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The high winds that came in Monday to the Yakima Valley and Mid-Columbia have created transit and power problems for the region but the Department of Ecology says breathing in dust is also a major concern.

Dust storms have formed with winds reaching as fast as 60 miles per hour. This can lead to dust particles entering a person's lungs damaging sensitive tissue. The elderly, young children, pregnant women, those who work outdoors, and anyone with a respiratory illness are most at risk, according to the department.

Here are some suggestions from the DOE to protect you from the dust:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Wear a mask that is designed to block small particles
  • Avoid driving when a storm is likely
  • Turn your headlights on to help others see you

Even when the winds die down, dust particles may still be in the air so give some additional time before you return to your regular routine, the department said.