95 percent of ancient Ohio was forested. But centuries ago there were also small regions of prairie. Tall grasses and wildflowers were part of the prairie ecology and so were bison. Researchers near Columbus are trying to reestablish a prairie / bison ecosystem.
Winter Storm Poses Threat of Floods
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Rain in the forecast for later this week has Central Ohio officials watching rivers dams and sewer systems after the weekend storm dropped more than 20 inches of snow on the area. Delaware County EMS director Brian Gallagher says that amount of snow is equal to about 2 inches of rain water. He says the Delaware Dam will prevent the Olentangy River from flooding but the Scioto might not be so lucky.
“The Olentangy we are not as concerned about because the dam can control most of the flooding for the Olentangy which is a concern as it meets up with the Scioto right down there by OSU, Worthington, Mount Airy, those areas are low along the Olentangy. The place we don’t have a control is along the Scioto River. So that is one of the areas we check along with some of the creeks around the areas because we can’t control that.”
Gallagher says the Army Corps of Engineers, which controls the dam, released water in anticipation of the snow storm. He says, now they are holding water until the streams and tributaries drain out of the Olentangy. Currently water levels in Delaware and Franklin County are slightly higher than normal. Franklin County EMS director Jim Leonard says the weather forecast for later in the week which includes warm temperatures and rain could cause a problem not only with waterways but also sewer systems.
“If you get to a faster melt which could occur if temperatures get up into the 50′s it could overwhelm the systems. In that case what we do is to start monitoring areas that are low lying and keep an eye out for possibilities of any area type flooding.”
Leonard says he is watching three areas in particular around the county that typically flood; Hart Road on the city’s south side, Gould’s Park in Gahanna and Route 315 near the Delaware County line.