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Earth

Hurricane Could Make a Mess of Republican Convention 503

Hugh Pickens writes "ABC News reports that Hurricane Isaac, currently a tropical storm brewing southeast of Puerto Rico, is on track to hit Florida the same day that Mitt Romney and 50,000 Republican delegates, journalists, protestors and guests descend on Tampa for the Republican National Convention but whether it will skim the east coast near Miami or crash head-on into Tampa, is still up in the air. The worst possible scenario is that Hurricane Isaac stays on the western track, skating over the Caribbean Sea south of Haiti, crossing the primarily flat landscape of western Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico then curving east and hitting Tampa dead-on. '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,' says meteorologist Max Golembo. 'It would be a disaster in the Tampa area.' If a hurricane or tropical storm is bearing down on Tampa, the priority of law enforcement is to evacuate residents, leaving GOP officials to make the decision of when to evacuate delegates says Hillsborough County Emergency Management spokeswoman Holly Wade. 'We have to look at a lot of factors, like timing and landfall,' says Wade. 'We provide the weather information, then we take that to the host committee, which decides if the event goes on or if the event gets altered.' A Category 2 hurricane could disrupt convention activities because the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the festivities, is within a mandatory evacuation zone for storms of that magnitude."

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