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Group Says Michigan Vulnerable To Effects Of Climate Change

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Lake Michigan (istockphoto)

Lake Michigan (istockphoto)

CBS Detroit (con't)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Michigan is among 16 states named by an environmental group as “most likely” to experience serious flooding and other problems over the next several decades.

Kim Knowlton, the senior scientist at the “Natural Resources Defense Council” says more than 40 percent of all states report two to three weeks of high water levels every year.

“That is a lot of flooding, and flooding can cause a rang of health problems, from the very unfortunate fatalities and injuries,” said Knowlton. “Also, contaminated drinking water, hazardous material spills, increased populations of disease-carrying insects and rodents, even,” she said.

Sandra McLellen , a senior scientist with the University of Wisconsin, says the frequency of extreme rainstorms is expected to increase by 50 to 100 percent by the end of the century.

“There is a clear connection to rainfall and pathogens getting into our waterways. And, when we’re a city like Milwaukee and some of the other cities around the Great Lakes, we’re actually on the shores of one of our largest water resources,” said McLellen. “So, we’re in a particularly sensitive area.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)  Wednesday unveiled a new online series of maps that illustrate how climate change has changed the nation’s flood zones.  Check it out, here.

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