No one has yet forgotten the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, least of all the people of Louisiana. Now, an ABC forecaster says that Hurricane Isaac, now a tropical storm, could have the same impact as Katrina did, this time in Tampa, Florida.
The current weather models predict that Isaac will continue to grow steadily this week, already becoming much more organized and hit the United States coast by MondayÂ—the same day as the Republican National Convention. Right now, the storm is expected to make its way north and west, hitting the southernmost tip of Florida on Monday, near Miami.
However, storms like these are unpredictable, and if Isaac does not go as far north as expected, but continues westward, and then turns east as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, it could hit Tampa dead-on, a city that is as unprepared for it as New Orleans was back in 2005.
ABC Meteorologist Max Golembo said that there will be rain and wind in Tampa, but the problem is, forecasters simply don't know how bad it is going to be. He added, "Tampa is just as vulnerable as New Orleans was in the sense that the water will funnel into the bay area and from the storm surge which will flood completely the entire city of Tampa."
Bob Buckhorn, the Mayor of Tampa was less fearful of the approaching storm and its threat to the city or the Republican National Convention. Buckhorn was quoted as telling people to "come on down," adding "the event is going to take place, it's going to be a great event and we're looking forward to having you."
In other cities, a Mayor could look foolish not taking the threat of a storm like this seriously, but Florida is used to threats like these, and so Buckhorn may be excused for his remarks. He is still taking no chances, with preparations already happening for a possible evacuation.
The Republican National Convention, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the headliners, is scheduled for Monday, the same day the hurricane is expected to reach that area. This begs the question of what it means when an "act of God" like Hurricane Isaac interrupts the convention, or possibly causes it to be canceled, considering Romney is a Mormon, the church with a living prophet who supposedly has a direct line to the Big Man himself.