Fears are rising that Tropical Storm Isaac could strengthen into Hurricane Isaac and disrupt the Republican National Convention. Currently the tropical storm is gaining power off the southeast of Puerto Rico, and if currently predictions are accurate, will hit Florida the same day that Mitt Romney and 50,000 Republican delegates and guests arrive in Tampa.
The path of the storm is always hard to predict with any degree of certainty, but the best guess from various meteorologists suggest that it is heading for southern Florida. Most have predicted that Isaac will bounce along the coast near Miami or crash straight into Tampa.
ABC meteorologist Max Golembo has said, "Any way you take it, it's going to be a wind and rain event in Tampa. We don't know if it's going to be damaging to Tampa, canceling the convention or just delaying it."
Golembo added, "Tampa is just as vulnerable as New Orleans was in the sense that the water will funnel into the bay area and from the storm surge which will flood completely the whole entire city of Tampa." He was of course referring to Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005.
"It would be a disaster in the Tampa area," Golembo said.
However, officials in Tampa have tried to remain calm and have brushed off any suggestions of impending devastation. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, "Come on down. The event is going to take place, it's going to be a great event and we're looking forward to having you."
He highlighted the fact that Isaac was still nearly 2,500 miles away from the Florida coast, suggesting that talk of devastation at this point was premature.
Buckborn added, "We haven't been hit by a hurricane in 90 years, but that doesn't mean we let our guard down. We've got plans in place that we practice all year round. We've got plans on top of plans. The only thing the RNC does is add about 50,000 more people to the equation."