Questions Answers: Columbus/Ohio Tornado History

In the second installment of Questions Answered, quite a few searches on my site deal with tornado history. The following link is a perfect source for this. Someone can search by date, location and strength of tornados back to 1950.

Enjoy!

http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/search/basic

2014: Year in Review- February

Development
February was not a super busy month for residential development, as is often the case during the dead of winter, but still offered plenty to be excited about.
-Local business Café Brioso announced plans to expand to Franklinton, in another showing of the newfound popularity of the the downtrodden neighborhood. http://www.columbusunderground.com/cafe-brioso-expanding-to-east-franklinton-cw2014
-Strongwater Food and Spirits opened up in Franklinton as well.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/02/11/dining-spot-emerges-in-young-arts-complex.html
-Work continued on revitalizing the long-declined Metro West apartment complex on the West Side behind Westland Mall.
http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/02/11/demolition-of-408-metro-west-apartment.html
-A new 4-story, 16-unit apartment building was first proposed for 40-42 W. 3rd Avenue in Victorian Village. As part of the development, the 19th century home on the site would be renovated as well. The site is here: http://goo.gl/maps/y5M1I
-The first renderings for the 7-story, multi-building Hubbard Park Place project in Victorian Village were released here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/wood-companies-unveils-hubbard-park-place-renderings-bw1
-And we heard about the task force that would begin a study to determine the feasibility of a Downtown-Port Columbus passenger rail line. Yay! http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-task-force-will-explore-airport-downtown-rail-connection
-Also on the transportation end, Lyft announced it would begin car-sharing service in Columbus. http://www.columbusunderground.com/lyft-launching-in-columbus-bw1
-Dublin’s Bridge Street Corridor plan got another boost with the announcement of the 392-unit Tuller Flats residential development. http://www.columbusunderground.com/castos-bridge-street-district-proposal-calls-for-392-units-bw1

Economy/Other
-It was announced that 2013 had been a busy year in terms of housing construction.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/02/05/central-ohio-builders-were-busier-in-2013.html
-The Columbus Metro posted an unemployment rate for the month at 5.5%, down half a point from January and down 1.1 points from February 2013.

Weather
February continued the historic winter of 2013-2014. The 15.9″ of snow that fell during the month was the 6th snowiest on record, and the 7.1″ that fell on the 4th was the 7th highest daily February total since 1879. Even more, the 7.1″ daily was part of a 2-day single storm that produced the 3rd largest February snowstorm at 10.6″.
Temperatures for the month were also cold, coming in 6.9 degrees below normal. This was the 20th coldest February of all time.

Cool Link of the Day: Mapping Commuting Patterns

Curious to know how people get to work in every county in the United States? Use the following link to find out.
http://flowingdata.com/2015/01/20/how-americans-get-to-work/

The map was constructed using 2013 data, so it’s fairly recent. As for Franklin County? Here’s the breakdown:

Drive Alone: 82%
Carpool: 8%
Public Transit: 2%
Walk: 2%
Bicycle: 1%
Taxi or Other: 1%
Work from Home: 4%

The numbers are overwhelmingly auto-centric, as they are nearly everywhere, but what the numbers don’t show are any trends.

Random Columbus Photos #1

Photo Date: January 15, 1936
Location: Parkwood Avenue, East Linden

This random street scene photo was taken during the frigid winter of 1935-36. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where the photo was taken, only that the style of homes indicates that it was taken looking north between Earl and Denune Avenues. Little has changed on Parkwood in the last 79 years. The area still looks and feels a little rural, and there are still no sidewalks. The one change, however, is that the roads are no longer dirt.

The day of the photo was fairly mild, with highs in the mid-40s. The next day, however, a snowstorm struck that dropped about 5″ of snow, and just a week later, temperatures hit 16 degrees below zero.

Questions Answered- Columbus Zip Codes

Every week, people visiting the site do searches looking for specific information and on questions they have. Sometimes I’ll have the information available, sometimes I don’t. In this occasional series, I’ll choose a previously uncovered topic and try to put something together.

The first one is super easy. One of the most popular searches is for a Columbus zip code map. Take your pick.

This link has Ohio’s map which you can scroll down and print any version.
http://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/oh/

Here’s an individual zip code list with maps for each.
http://www.zipcodestogo.com/Ohio/

And here’s a link for a map in which you can find out just about any kind of information for each zip code.
http://www.city-data.com/zipmaps/Columbus-Ohio.html

And if those links aren’t good enough, here are some basic maps.
http://www.aboutzipcode.com/statemaps/Ohio-zip-code-map.png

Hope that helps!

2014: Year in Review- January

This kind of post seems obligatory at this time of year. I thought about making just one big post, but there was so much that happened this year that I decided to break it up by month. This review won’t include every single piece of news, just the highlights. First up, of course, is January.

Development
-The Columbus Zoo began to push for a permanent levy to help pay for upgrades at its existing facility, as well as for adding a new expansion attraction at the Scioto Peninsula Downtown http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/09/zoo-wants-vote-on-bigger-permanent-property-tax.html
-Redevelopment of the Barrett Middle School site in Merion Village began to make news. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2014/01/12/caughtmiddle.html The project should begin sometime this spring, though the exact number of residential units and layout has changed some.
-Columbus adopted Complete Streets. http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-complete-streets-thoroughfare-plan-could-have-big-impact-bw1 This set of standards guides the development of the street layout and design throughout the city. This includes including multi-use and bike paths, as well as better signaling and access for pedestrians.
-A new 40-unit apartment complex was proposed for 122 Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East. However, very little news has been heard about this project since, as it may be waiting for work on the Parsons section of the 70/71 rebuild to move along first. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/new-ote-apartment-complex-proposal-parsons-gustavus
-OSU announced plans to renovate several buildings in order to create a sort-of tech campus that partnered with IBM’s new analytics center in Dublin. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/01/23/osu-in-line-for-53m-from-state.html
-And on the West Side, the huge apartment complex off Georgesville Road once known as Lincoln Park West, was announced to get a major makeover, with the demolition of a few hundred units while the rest would get a high-end renovation. This complex had long been very run down and the site of tragic arson fires, crime and high vacancy. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/01/204-apartments-at-former-lincoln-park.html

Economy/Other
-Columbus was named one of the nation’s top Opportunity Cities. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/america-s-new-opportunity-cities-222209099.html
-Columbus was named one of the top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/top7-intelligent-communities-of-2014-aka-were-smart-again
-Columbus was predicted to have one of the nation’s best economic performances of 2014. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/01/22/cities-face-a-good-but-not-great-economic-outlook-for-2014/ The numbers won’t be out for a few months on how the city/metro actually performed, however.
-A study came out detailing how future growth in Columbus would radically alter where people lived and in what type of home and environment they lived. The consensus? Young and urban. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/discovering_a_new_housing_futu.html
-The unemployment rate rose to 6% in January from December 2013, as it usually rises after seasonal employees are laid off. However, this was 1.1 percentage points lower than the previous January.

Weather
January 2014 continued what December 2013 had started. Snowfall was nearly 2x above normal and temperatures were almost 7 degrees below normal. The month tied for the 15th coldest January and the 16th snowiest. The coldest low was -11 and the low hit 0 or below 7 times, the most since 1994. The biggest snow event occurred on the 25th-26th with 8.3″. This was the 10th largest January snowstorm of all time. Snow depth reached at least 1″ on 19 days.

2013 Census Tract Estimates

The Census released updated tract estimates for 2013, and they showed some interesting things. There are 285 census tracts that make up Franklin County.

First, let’s take a look at the Franklin County trends 2000-2013.

In regards to the above map, it’s a mix of both the 2013 official estimates and some that I did. For example, the official estimates had the Downtown tracts 30 and 40 losing population, as well as most of the Short North. That’s rather absurd considering the level of residential construction in these areas, as well as population estimates the city has done in the last few years for Downtown. In fact, the 2013 official estimates have Downtown tract population BELOW 2010. That’s just not the reality. So I looked over the tracts and adjusted them according to their long-term growth/decline trends. Most of them I left alone, but some adjustments had to be made. However, I was very conservative with any changes, and several tracts that the official estimates showed gains, I actually had losses.

Here are all the tracts that grew by at least 300 people between 2010 and 2013 in Franklin County, as well as their locations.

Blacklick #7395: +1,609
Dublin #6230: +1,214
Columbus-West Side #7951: +1,002
Columbus-Northwest #6372: +966
Columbus Northeast #6931: +963
Hilliard #7921: +955
Columbus-East Side #9361: +952
Columbus-West Side #8350: +951
Columbus-Northwest: #6384: +949
Dublin #6220: +933
Columbus-West Side #8141: +921
Columbus-Easton #7551: +793
Columbus-Southeast #9373: +749
Hilliard #7933: +688
Minerva Park #7112: +675
Columbus-South Side #8340: +652
Hilliard #7954: +643
Columbus North Side #7044: +636
Columbus Northeast #7132: +615
Columbus Northwest #6396: +557
Dublin #6386: +549
Columbus North Side #6921: +540
Columbus Northwest #6393: +492
Columbus-West Side: +489
Gahanna #7492: +473
New Albany #7209: +472
Columbus-Hilltop #8321: +466
Columbus-Southeast #9374: +455
Grove City #9740: +441
Columbus Northeast #6945: +438
Hillard #7931: +432
Columbus-West Side #7812: +427
Columbus-South Side #9590: +411
Columbus-South Side #8710: +407
Hilliard #10602: +407
Columbus-South Side #8822: +403
Whitehall #9230: +398
Columbus-West Side #8163: +397
Columbus-East Side #9362: +389
Columbus-Downtown #30: +387
Hilliard #7953: +382
Columbus-West Side #6330: +371
Columbus-Northwest #6387: +361
Columbus-East Side #9322: +352
Columbus-South Side #8825: +349
Columbus-Southwest #8161: +346
West Side-Marble Cliff #43: +345
Columbus-Southwest #8370: +340
Grandview #85: +332
Columbus-Downtown #40: +321
Hilliard #7922: +320
Dublin #6371: +312
Grove City #9751: +304
Columbus-Campus Area #13: +303

As far as the core of the city, the 1950 boundaries, here are the results.

There are 78 tracts that make up the original 1950 city boundary. Using the official estimates, 38 of the 78 tracts grew between 2010-2013, yet had a total loss of 3,229. However, again, it had all the Downtown and adjacent tracts inexplicably losing population, yet the opposite is occurring in these areas. For Downtown, the combined loss was about 370, and for the Short North, it had the loss at more than 700.

Using my adjusted estimates, 35 tracts are growing, adding 1,166 people 2010-2013. Most of the gains were made in the Downtown and adjacent tracts, and some of the losses were simply not as steep. For example, the official estimates had tract #10, in the Campus area, losing nearly 1,300 people since 2010, which is a ridiculous loss, especially considering it grew by almost 8% 2000-2010. In fact, most of the largest losses from the official estimates were around Campus and the Short North. Nonsense.

The Big Lie: The Midwest vs. The South

For 50 years now, the story has been how the South has been booming while the Midwest has languished in perpetual decline. Nearly every day, a new ranking or story comes about how great the South is in relation to its Northern neighbors, but the more I’ve looked at the numbers, the more I realize that the hype is built upon lies, half-truths and cherry-picking data.

The first data point we’re going to look at is Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, a measure of the total economic output, for the Midwest vs. the South.
Online Graphing
graph

So on this measure, the South is doing pretty well vs. the Midwest… or so it seems at first. The advantage the South has, however, is Texas. Without the behemoth state, the South has had growth on pace with the Midwest, though the recession did knock the Midwest down a bit from a fairly wide gap. Even so, the Midwest is ahead of the South without Texas, making it pretty clear that Texas is a HUGE reason for the South’s growth. All by itself, it nearly double’s the region’s GDP. The Midwest has no such massively dominant state. So does this mean that the South has Texas to thank for all the attention it gets? More light will be shed on this as we go.

Now let’s look at GDP growth by decade for the regions.
Online Graphing
Create a graph

Again, on the surface the South does well. The 2000s were especially kind to the South, while the Midwest declined some, likely due to the double recessions that occurred. However, during the 2010s so far, the Midwest has been growing a bit faster than the South (without Texas), something which hasn’t happened since the 1970s. Once more, Texas shows up as being the main contributor by FAR vs. all other Southern states combined.

Taking GDP further, what does it look like per-capita for the regions?
Online Graphing
graph and charts

First of all, the data only goes back to 1987, and the 1997 jump is because the data collection sources changed. In any case, the Midwest region is the leader here. The South has been stagnant for the last decade or so, while the Midwest, aside from during the recession, has seen a steady rise. Since the recession, the pace of per-capita GDP growth has accelerated, and the gap between the region and the South has widened. The Midwest has reached the US average, while the South, with or without Texas, is well below it and not catching up. What does this mean? Well, that despite relatively healthy GDP total growth in the South, it has simply not been fast enough to keep pace with either the national average or the Midwest. The Midwest has a much stronger economic output per its population than the South does, by almost $10,000 per person.

What about income?
Online Graphing
graph and charts

I know this chart is a bit hard to see, but it runs from 1930-2013. What it shows is that the Midwest has long had the highest per-capita income of the two regions. In fact, the gap between the two has grown steadily wider over years, and has accelerated in the last 5. The Midwest, while just below the national average now, is ahead of the South as a whole, Texas alone and the South without Texas.

To illustrate the income change over the 1930-2013 period further, let’s look at % growth by decade.
Online Graphing
Make a graph

This chart actually shows that the South generally performed much better by rate of growth from the 1970s and earlier. Since then, the rate of growth between the regions has been much closer, and in the 1990s and 2010s, the Midwest grew faster. What this seems to indicate is that the long term growth rate in income is gradually turning more strongly towards the Midwest after a long period where the South had faster growth. The Midwest has also seen faster growth than the national average since the 1980s, not exactly an indication of some kind of sustained decline.

So far, the picture is not quite as one-sided as we’ve been told.

What’s more interesting, especially from a total GDP standpoint, is that the Midwest is smaller than the South as a whole. To be more equal, you’d have to include the Northeastern states. This throws the entire dynamic out the window. In fact, the North combined is still the largest regional economy of the 3 (North, South, West) by about 13 percentage points.