After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.
Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.
MIAMI — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the state.
Scott said the goal was to make sure every local, state and federal agency "has the exact same information" on the storm and preparations in order to make informed decisions. He issued the state of emergency Saturday during a media briefing in Broward County.
The Republican National Convention, in Tampa, has canceled almost all events for Monday night, citing Tropical Storm Isaac. Convention organizers made that announcement, saying safety is their primary concern. NPR's Jeff Brady is in Tampa, and he joins us now. Jeff, tell us what's happening.
While some 70,000 visitors are expected for the Republican National Convention, it's not the only big event heading towards Tampa. On Tuesday, another important visitor could be on the way, though perhaps not directly through Tampa - Tropical Storm Isaac. As of now, Isaac is still in the Caribbean. But as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Tampa, it's likely to be a hurricane when it passes near the city later in the week.
Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened slightly as it spun toward the Dominican Republic and vulnerable Haiti on Friday, threatening to bring punishing rains but unlikely to gain enough steam to strike as a hurricane.
Forecasters now expect the storm to stay below hurricane force until it's in the Gulf of Mexico. It's expected to stay to the west of Tampa, Fla., where the Republican National Convention starts on Monday, though there is still an outside chance it could hit there.