Cincinnati Manager Creates Severe Weather Task Force

May 30, 2017

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black has formed an internal task force to review the implications of the increasing number of severe weather events in the city.

In a memo, Black said the city has experienced 100-year rain events three times in the last year.  He also noted dramatic hillside movement along Riverside Drive and other locations.  Black said such events "are not an anomaly anymore."

Black said nine city departments will be represented on the task force.  

"To look at every aspect of not only how it impacts city government, but how does it impact the community," Black said in an interview.

Black wants to understand what is going on and identify potential implications and potential solutions.

"So we have to look at zoning, we have to look at our buildings and inspections process to determine what the implications might be and what we need to start having discussions about as a city," Black said.

The increasing number of severe weather events is also having an impact on the city's finances.

"Every time we have one of these 100 year storms, you know we have to work with hundreds of residents to deal with the aftermath and it becomes very expensive and costly," Black said.

In the end, Black knows you cannot control "mother nature."

"What we can do is we can become smarter about where the greatest risk and greatest exposure might be throughout the city when you have one of the 100-year storms," Black said. "So that we can begin to take steps to mitigate, and in some cases eliminate, the adverse impacts."

The task force will review "policies and procedures, resource allocation, budgets and cost and development regulations."

A final report should be completed in late July or early August.  It will include background and recommendations for the mayor and city council.