TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told reporters Monday morning that things were going smoothly so far for his city -- both from the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac and the first protests associated with the Republican National Convention.
"Traffic this morning was fine, no snarls to speak of," Buckhorn said during a 10:30 a.m. briefing at the Tampa Convention Center. "I think everyone paid attention to what we said, to make sure they give themselves ample time to get to work."
Things might change tomorrow, he said, with the 400 buses being used to transport Republican delegates streaming into downtown along with regular traffic.
"I would imagine that downtown would have a very different dynamic tomorrow as people figure out what to do and where to go" he said.
As for the storm, Buckhorn said the city is likely to get some bands of heavy winds and rain today, and that low-lying areas such as South Tampa that frequently flood in heavy rains would do so again, but no storm surge of any significance was expected.
Buckhorn said the city was ready for the first significant RNC protest, which was scheduled for Monday morning.
"We are being supportive of people who want to come and offer an alternative opinion," he said, and noted there have been few arrests related to protests so far.
He also warned protesters and visitors alike that when the weather returns to its normal August pattern, staying hydrated in the heat will be vital.
"When it warms up and the sun comes out... there will be a lot of humidity. It will be oppressive. Folks who are out there on the street need to stay hydrated."
Buckhorn said he met with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus Sunday night and he was "excited about how Tampa has performed. They've had no complaints. I think they are excited about the reception they've gotten."