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Which Indiana communities are most vulnerable to climate change?

A "trail closed" sign in front of a flooded trail
Abigail Ruhman
/
IPB News
Indiana University's Gabriel Filippelli said communities in low-lying areas may struggle with flooding and remain more vulnerable to climate change.

Which Indiana communities are most vulnerable to climate change? One member of our audience was curious.

Gabriel Filippelli is the executive director of the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. He said communities in low-lying areas may struggle with flooding and remain more vulnerable to climate change.

“Some of those communities are the ones who sort of live in low-lying areas, usually lower-value properties,” he said. “So again, it tends to be the lower income communities are the most vulnerable.”

Filippelli said urban areas in the state also tend to be more sensitive to heat and effects of climate change.

“Particularly in cities with a lot of what we call gray infrastructure,” he said. “So not much in the way of forests and trees within the urban environment. Mainly, cities have neighborhoods that are proximal to, industries and roads and so forth.”

READ MORE: Clarksville, Richmond develop plans to protect residents from extreme heat

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on climate solutions and climate change at ipbs.org/climatequestions.

Filippelli said every city and community in the state is different, and their challenges vary.

“South Bend – its extreme heat days are pretty minimal,” he said. “And we project them to increase somewhat, but not all that much. But they're really prone to flooding and they're going to get a little bit worse in the coming decades. When you go down to Evansville, they're going to become much hotter. Flooding might not be as much of an issue, but heat will.”

He emphasized communities that already experience vulnerabilities, such as low-income communities, may face more of the effects of climate change.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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