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Making backup plans in case storm hits during RNC

10:59 PM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Debby visited Tampa Bay in June and the gusty guest delivered a deluge.

Streets flooded, bridges closed, bombarded beaches washed away. 

So what happens if we get the same type of thing or worse during the Republican National Convention?

Tuesday, the head of the Tampa Bay Host Committee said it's too soon to worry.

"Being that it's so early and there are so many variables to it, the best thing we can do for ourselves right now is keep focusing on the plan that we have."

Still, Tuesday while work crews readjusted banners on the forum torn loose by last nights mini-storm, Hillsborough Emergency Managers eye a much more powerful system.

"We're watching it very closely, we've already had conversations with the National Weather Service."

While the county always has plans in place to safeguard residents and visitors, Emergency Management Director Preston Cook says, you can't ignore the RNC.

If evacuations are necessary, 50-thousand extra people will make a difference and could alter timelines.

"We have to take into consideration those different variables and make sure we're prepared for those and we've thought about them, we've planned for them."

And Pinellas County is in the mix too, hundreds of delegates are filling beach hotels from Clearwater, to Treasure Island, to St. Pete Beach.

A storm could not only ruin planned vacation stays, but hamper transportation to Tampa or worst case scenario: put lives at risk.

North Dakota's delegation will be staying on the beach, and the party's executive director says he's watching the storm, but still hopes the convention will be able to weather the weather.


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