What happens if Tropical Storm Isaac hits the GOP convention? — As of early Thursday, Isaac was churning in the Caribbean, 250 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. It’s moving slowly toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, then Cuba, and could reach the Florida Keys early Monday, the opening day of the convention, and the start of a week of parties and speeches leading up to the official nomination of Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presidential candidate. The storm could reach Tampa by that night or the next morning.
There’s a remote chance Isaac could veer west into the Gulf of Mexico, gather strength over its warm waters, then curve back to hit just north of Tampa as a major storm, says meteorologist Alex Sosnowski of Accuweather. If Isaac were to hit as a Category 4 storm, with winds of 130 mph to 156 mph, it could send 20 feet of water over the convention site, says Masters of Weather Underground. Even if it hits as a weaker Category 2, with 96- to 110-mph winds, the area would have to be evacuated. The bottom line, says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, is that if things get dangerous, “we’re prepared to call it off. I mean, human safety and human life trumps politics. I think the RNC recognizes that.”
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