A closer look at urban heat islands in Virginia and their deadly effects

This story is part of a new program at WSLS 10, Solutionaries

Higher temperatures can cause stronger storms, flash flooding, respiratory problems, heat exhaustion and strokes.

ROANOKE, Va. – Urban heat islands are an issue across the country as well as here in Virginia.

Did you know that there are parts of Roanoke that are full of concrete and lack green space where it can be 15 degrees warmer than nearby areas?

Even in the winter months, heat islands are easy to identify. When it snows, it melts slower in green spaces like parks.

These green spaces help the environment, your bank account and can also save lives.

Higher temperatures can cause stronger storms, flash flooding, respiratory problems, heat exhaustion and strokes.

We’re taking an in-depth look at the problem of urban heat islands, what the city has done to find solutions and what you can do too!

We talked to both Roanoke’s Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Nell Boyle about some local neighborhoods and WSLS 10 Meteorologist Justin McKee about the trends.

This story is part of a new program at WSLS 10, Solutionaries.

Solutions offer hope and that’s the belief of Solutionaries, a show from our parent company, Graham Media Group, focusing on those who are taking on some of our biggest challenges. Each episode focuses on effective responses to problems and offers viewers ways they can join the effort for positive change.

At WSLS 10, we’re proud of our longstanding commitment to solutions journalism. And now, our newsroom is proud to be part of the Solutionaries team on a mission to find solutions to challenging issues, and highlight the creative thinkers and doers who are working to make the world a better place.

We’ll tackle one topic at a time, highlighting problems many of us are dealing with and the solutions that are out there. The solution could be in our backyard, or something else that’s working across the country.

Every Solutionaries story will have four main ideas:

  • Response(s) to a problem
  • How those responses work
  • Evidence of results, not intentions
  • Limitations (because nothing is perfect, right?!)

You’ll soon see new Solutionaries episodes each month here on WSLS.com, and on your go-to streaming device using the 10 News Now app.a And, we’d love you to subscribe on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/solutionaries!

Ways to watch Solutionaries

About the Author:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m.