MANKATO — Pick a calamity — drought, flooding, pathogens, parasites, tornadoes, wildfires — and you are likely to see more of them in the coming years as climate change continues to alter south-central Minnesota. 

A local planning agency hopes to help area communities adapt to events such as flash flooding in areas that haven’t previously flooded, increased stresses on valuable crops, increased diseases from ticks and other bugs, and even wildfires due to more droughts.

“It’s important not just to government but to businesses that are here or want to settle here as well,” said Brent Pearson, project manager at Region Nine Development Commission.

Pearson said a task force created a report that specifically does not suggest causes for climate change or ways to mitigate climate change. Those politically sensitive topics are for others to debate, he said.

“Our goal was to work as a planning agency on how to adapt to changes. I’m not a climatologist. I’m a planner and a data guy.”