While Tampa and most of Florida remain under a potential threat from Tropical Storm Isaac, Republican Party officials may decide to cancel or delay its national convention next week.
In a statement early Thursday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott indicated that while Isaac could pose a threat to the Republican National Convention, he did not expect the event to be cancelled.
“Right now there’s not an anticipation there will be a cancellation,” Scott said. He did indicate, though, that no one knows exactly how the storm will impact Florida.
Initially projected to hit Florida as a Category 2 hurricane, Tropical Storm Isaac will — at best — be a minimal hurricane off the coast early Monday.
The Republican National Convention will be held in a low-lying area in downtown Tampa that is near the water and prone to flooding.
Convention CEO William Harris said Thursday afternoon that he is moving forward with preparations but is closely monitoring Isaac.
“The Republican National Convention and the Republican National Committee, working in consultation with the Romney-Ryan campaign, are in regular contact with the National Weather Service, Gov. Scott and local emergency officials in an effort to track and understand the potential impact of the storm,” Harris said.
“Gov. Scott and local emergency officials have assured us that they have the resources in place to respond to this storm should it make landfall, as our primary concern is with those in the potential path of the storm. We will continue to work closely with them and federal officials to monitor the storm and discuss any impact it might have on the Tampa area and the state of Florida. We continue to move forward with our planning and look forward to a successful convention,” Harris said.
While Isaac is several days away from a potential strike along Florida’s west coast, RNC officials are advising against out-of-state visitors canceling their travel plans.
“From what I have been advised, several contingency plans are in place,” stated Richard DeNapoli, chairman of the Broward Republican Party. “Although I will continue to personally monitor the developments of Isaac, I haven’t made any changes in my travel plans to Tampa.”
A message left for Sharon Day, Republican National Committee co-chair, on her personal cellphone was not returned as of press time.