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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott warns of possible Panhandle landing for Isaac



New weather projections about Tropical Storm Isaac have Gov. Rick Scott increasingly concerned the storm will hit North Florida, he said at a press briefing late Friday.

The storm is now aimed at vulnerable Haiti and is projected to trend toward the Gulf, where it could reach hurricane strength. The storm could reach landfall near the Florida Panhandle by Tuesday, he said.

"The more time it spends over warm water, the greater chance it will be a worse storm," he said. "No evacuations in the state at this point."

Scott plans to hold two storm briefings from Broward County Saturday, and then go to Tampa with his wife, children and mother for the Republican National Convention on Sunday.

He's not sure whether he'll cancel his Monday night convention speech if the storm makes landfall near that time, he said.

"I'll make a decision as we go forward. We're still a couple of days out and we'll see what happens," he said. "My biggest concern is the safety of the citizens at the state. It's a real honor to represent the state and the convention, but it's way more important to see the people in the state safe. Hopefully (the storm) will dissipate over Cuba."

Hospitality officials in Tampa and St. Petersburg have reported few cancellations, and the airports are open, Scott added.




[Last modified: Friday, August 24, 2012 6:40pm]


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