Tampa mayor ‘prepared to call off’ RNC if Tropical Storm Isaac hits Tampa

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Tropical Storm Isaac is on a collision course with the Republican National Convention. If it hits, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told CNN, he is ready to cancel the convention.

“Well, absolutely, we’re prepared to call it off,” Buckhorn said, as the Bradenton Herald reported. “I mean, safety and human life trump politics. I think the RNC recognizes that. The organizers, certainly Gov. Romney, recognize that.”

“Whatever we do will be based on getting people out of harm’s way,” Buckhorn said. “Politics will take second place. All of us recognize that. The RNC recognized that when the picked Tampa as the host city.”

According to the Weather Channel, Isaac could be upgraded to a hurricane as early as Thursday. The Republican National Convention begins Monday.

At the moment, the storm is headed toward Cuba and Hispaniola. It remains to be seen whether the storm will continue into Florida, and if so, if it will hit Tampa. The storm could also continue westward to the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s too early to give specifics,” according to the Weather Channel.

Despite the rainy forecast, convention planners are keeping a sunny outlook.

“We are working closely with our partners at the federal, state and local levels to monitor the weather — and we have contingency plans in place to ensure the health and safety of convention delegates, guests and visitors, and the Tampa Bay community. We are looking forward to a great convention,” said Kyle Downey, Press Secretary for the 2012 Convention when asked about the contingency plans.

Downey did not specify what those contingency plans would be or respond to an email requesting more information, nor did he say whether shutting down the convention was a real possibility.

If it does rain, convention-goers will have to stay dry without the help of umbrellas; they’re prohibited within the security perimeter of the convention, unless they’re “provided by Committee on Arrangements or the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee,” according to the Tampa Bay Times website.

Downey also did not answer when asked whether or not a hurricane would result in umbrellas being taken off that prohibited items list.

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