Ohio State researcher says Hurricane Matthew could leave millions without power

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A local researcher is predicting Hurricane Matthew could knock out power to seven million people. For the past 10 years he’s the guy Homeland Security, the Department of Energy and emergency management agencies call to help them be best prepared when huge storms hit

OSU Atmospheric Sciences Professor Steven Quiring is a self-described, “weather nerd.” The government relies on him to know where the power will go out and for how long during hurricanes and cyclones.

“We want to make sure that people know where the power might fail, how long it’s going to be out so they can prepare and make decisions accordingly,” said Quiring. “Our job is to run the models, disseminate the information and then they have their own internal decision making processes.”

His predictive models use data like population density, tree cover and soil moisture to help the government answer big questions; where to pre-position crews, who should be evacuated and what supplies are needed in advance.

A sometimes stressful job!

“It’s a difficult business. Easy to be wrong!” he said

The next time you hear storm predictions, now you know… they could have come from this Buckeye, right in our backyard.

Quirings’ models accurately predicted Superstorm Sandy would knock out power for close to 10 million people in 2012.

Quiring said Ohio won’t see any impact or rain from the storm.

His research team updates models every six hours.

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