Climate change action plan underway for Columbus

Part of Cannon Drive at The Ohio State University is being raised so it will be high enough to protect Wexner Medical Center from a 500-year flood event, something Ohio State climatologists say will happen more often due to climate change. (WSYX/WTTE)

Part of Cannon Drive at The Ohio State University is being raised so it will be high enough to protect Wexner Medical Center from a 500-year flood event, something Ohio State climatologists say will happen more often due to climate change.

"Here in Ohio, it's these extreme precipitation- two, three, four-inch rainfall events. We're seeing things like I-70 inundated, highways inundated at different times of the year for sure," says senior researcher Aaron Wilson.

The plan identifies the biggest impacts we'll see in our weather- like heavier rain, milder winters and more 90 degree days in the summer and outlines how people can prepare. "Individuals can look at this to think about what the effect would be if they're renovating a home, or if they're going to locate a business in a place like a floodplain or if they're going to rent a property that might be impacted by extreme rainfall events," says researcher Jason Cervenec.

The plan also outlines specific ways the city governments and businesses can help. "Do you have enough cooling centers for those that don't have adequate cooling? Do you have good distribution of fans and air conditioners?" adds Wilson.

They say we're already seeing the impacts of climate change here in Ohio, and while we can't completely stop it we can make sure we're ready for what's to come. "So many things that we do now will impact ourselves for decades to come and without accurate information, we're not going to have the ability to make wise decisions," says Cernevec.

The public is invited to read the plan and submit feedback through March 9 at this link: https://bpcrc.osu.edu/columbus

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