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Planning for climate change in Albert Lea

Talia Milavetz
Updated: February 14, 2020 10:20 PM
Created: February 14, 2020 09:02 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- On a day when Albert Lea is reaching negative temperatures, it’s hard to remember that data shows the city is getting warmer. 

"Based on the data that we have at this point it's going to be hotter in Albert Lea in the next century," said Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos. 

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A study prepared by paleBLUEdot and provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows that from 1950-2015 Albert Lea’s annual temperature increased by an average of 1.35 degrees. 

By 2100, experts predict the annual average temperature could increase by up to 9 degrees.

"People's health can be affected. In Chicago where I'm from, we had a heatwave that killed 500 people. It's important that we develop plans to reach vulnerable populations for when we have those extreme weather events and based on the data that we have we are going to have them,” he said. 

City leaders, community members, and activists gathered at Albert Lea City Hall on Friday for the first climate adaptation planning workshop. 

"It's a plan that will be approved by the city council, we are hoping by August or September of this year. It is intended to address the effects of Climate Change," he said. 

Beyond extreme weather, the report predicts there will be more flooding, diseases spread through ticks and mosquitoes and risks to both water quality and quantity. 

"It's important in government and any organization to make decisions based on data. The data that we have shows that these events are going to continue to happen with more frequency," he said.

The plan is just in the beginning stages, but city leaders are eager to keep working. 

City leaders are asking everyone to take this survey about climate adaptation.


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