Florida Prepares Hurricane Plan for Republican Convention

By Michael Adams | May 25, 2012

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will have the final say whether to cancel the Republican National Convention in the event of a hurricane.

The convention where Mitt Romney is expected to be formally nominated as the Republican candidate for president in slated to begin Aug. 27 in Tampa, three months into hurricane season.

Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll said at a recent state Division of Emergency Management hurricane drill that the governor’s primary concern is for the safety of Florida residents.

“Public safety is the number one priority,” Carroll said. “We can have the convention later.

The division conducted the drill to determine the state’s preparedness if a major storm threatens the Tampa area in the timeframe around the convention.

Under the scenario, a storm would come through the Caribbean and make landfall just below Tampa as a category 3 hurricane. A category 3 storm could have sustained winds up to 130 miles-per-hour and a storm surge of nine to 12 feet.

Division officials are also drawing up plans to evacuate many residents in the southwest portion of the state in the event of a major storm.

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