Gov. Rick Scott said today that he is activating Florida's Emergency Operations Center and meeting with convention officials, as concern grows about Tropical Storm Isaac's potential impact on the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
"Isaac is a unique storm in this regard, it has the potential to threaten a major convention, designated a special national security event," Scott said Thursday. "That's why I have convened local, state, federal and conventional officials for twice daily briefings." (See attached video of the governor's press conference.)
The RNC runs from Aug. 27-30, with more than 50,000 visitors expected to pour into the Tampa Bay area. A kickoff party is scheduled for Aug. 26 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
The governor said convention officials will make any final decision about RNC activities, but also noted that he is in contact with RNC leaders twice a day.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that Mitt Romney will be nominated, even if Isaac makes a beeline for the Tampa Bay area:
"We do have contingency plans to deal with weather related and other circumstances that may occur to ensure that the business can go on at the RNC and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will become our nominees," RNC communications director Sean Spicer said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."
Spicer said that while the safety of delegates and others attending next week's Republican National Convention was paramount, the actual business of nominating Romney would not be delayed by bad weather.
"There is no such thing as canceling," Spicer said.
The Tampa Bay area lies in the five-day forecast zone for tropical storm Isaac, with the latest projections placing the storm just west of southwest Florida by Monday.
Isaac weakened Wednesday night to 40 mph but is predicted to regain strength as it travels west-northwest toward Haiti.