Storm's Threat Ends On Mostly Dry Note At Tampa Convention
As a weakened Hurricane Isaac continues to dump rain on the gulf states, the storm ended up not being a major disruption to the political proceedings in Tampa. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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In the end, Hurricane Irene took a different path than original forecasts were predicting and wound up passing way to the west of Tampa.
"Here in Florida, especially during this time of year, we are prepared for any type of weather issue that comes up. It was a big issue for a lot of the media that was from out of town. But we're used to dealing with it," said Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor
But the storm did cause trouble as Monday's convention events were canceled in anticipation of a direct hit.
All week there had been a lot of discussion about how Republicans should handle a dangerous storm. Many wondered if a full fledged celebration should be scaled back if Isaac were to wreak havoc along the coast.
Democrats weighed in on that notion Thursday.
"Probably a challenging situation for them. There are probably other ways they could have chosen it other than the way they chose. Could have taken things down a notch. I think it was another example of their continued focus on winning at all costs," said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman.
Meantime, Isaac is pounding parts of Louisiana. Officials opted to intentionally breach a dam to prevent it from bursting and causing a flood.
"The intent is to allow eight feet of water to come out and then reinforce the structural integrity of the dam. If this is successful, based on modeling -- this is all preliminary based on rough modeling -- if they were to do that that would not have significant affect on water levels down here," said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Members of the Louisiana delegation at the convention said they were worried about what's going on at home.
"I'm very, very concerned as I call back home about what's going to happen. Very concerned. And of course my flight was canceled for tomorrow, so I can't get home. I'm just praying all goes well," said Louisiana Delegate Sandra Bailey-Simmons.
"On the phone, texting. Cell phone communication went out for while, and we're just kind of re-establishing that communication link, which we experienced during katrina. So we know how to handle those situations," said Louisiana Delegate Remy Amedee.
While the storm wound up being a big part of the story down in Tampa, local leaders point out the area has not had a direct hit from a hurricane in over 90 years.