TAMPA -- As Republicans and Tampa officials keep a close watch on Tropical Storm Isaac, a hum drum storm this week already forced convention workers to scramble.
A Monday afternoon storm pulled down part of a covered canvas walkway between the Tampa Convention Center and the Tampa Bay Times Forum. When asked about the partial collapse, RNC Press Secretary Kyle Downey said the storm "damaged a small portion of tenting" and that workers were on the scene "almost immediately."
Heavy water barrels were added to moor the covering to prevent it from blowing away. Downey said the barrels were always planned.
The stability of the walkway, which snakes between the convention center and the Times Forum, is no small matter. Unlike other conventions, Tampa's logistics require convention organizers to keep the media and other participants further away from where the festivities are actually happening. This will require thousands of participants to trudge through midsummer heat and possible torrential rainstorms. Convention organizers were hoping to minimize this inclimate weather (also known as "August" in Tampa) with this walkway.
As for Isaac, Downey sounded optimistic that it wouldn't interfere.
"The convention is working closely with our partners at the federal, state and local levels to monitor the weather," Downey said in an email to the
Buzz. "We have contingency plans in place to ensure the health and safety of convention delegates, guests and visitors, and the Tampa Bay community. We are looking forward to a great convention."
Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer