TAMPA — Right now the projected track line for Tropical Storm Isaac, almost certainly soon to become Hurricane Isaac, goes right through Tampa. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat but a sensible fellow taken all around, says he won’t hesitate to pull the plug on the Republican National Convention if Isaac pays a visit.
“Safety and human life trump politics,” Buckhorn told CNN Wednesday. “Whatever we do will be based on getting people out of harm’s way.”
RNC host committee CEO Ken Jones said that he’s not worried yet, proof that he’s been working too hard. Earth to Ken — start worrying. Unless Jones plans to take 50,000 delegates, cops, journalists, demonstrators, and hangers-on home with him to ride out the storm, Isaac could be a real problem for him and his colleagues.
Jones, and all the folks who decided it was a good idea to put on a huge event in Central Florida during the peak of hurricane season, can take comfort in the fact that the projected paths of past hurricanes have gone through Tampa, only for the storm to take a different direction before it got here. The chances of Isaac hitting Tampa are well below 50-50. But even a glancing blow from a category two hurricane could cause havoc for a badly over-crowded Tampa. Some convention facilities and vital access roads to the convention forum this week were damaged by Tampa’s normal August thunderstorms.
I pray Isaac spares my town, which has been mostly hurricane free for my years here. Let’s hope this terrifically expensive and burdensome (on the city and its residents) show is put on and Romney/Ryan well and truly nominated and sent on to a vigorous campaign. But those who rolled the dice against the possibility of really bad weather in Tampa in late August can just take their reflux medicine, and pray that they don’t look really bad next week.
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