After a 19-hour drive, we have settled into our room and are focusing our attention on the local news tracking the weather. At about noon today we started noticing we were passing more and more convoys of tree triming trucks, utility company trucks and trucks transporting heavy equipment like front-end loaders. We saw trucks and emergency crews coming into the state of Florida from as far away as Warren, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The delegates are getting very regular updates by email, phone app and text. I suspect many hotel rooms around Tampa look like mine tonight: Nightstands piled with technology & chargers – two cell phones, laptop and hotspot box.
Earlier this evening Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in certain areas as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the state. Delegates received a text offering Gov. Scott’s apology as he has cancelled his participation in the convention in order to ensure his availability to address any emergencies that may arise associated with the storm. Shortly thereafter we were notified that the Ohio delegates are still to check in on Monday but the convention will recess until Tuesday.
Right now we are receiving reports that Tampa, where Ohio delegates are housed, is not expected to get hit terribly hard. But as I understand it, delegates from some states are housed in areas where the impact is supposed to be more severe and transportation will be an issue so there are adjustments in the schedule being made.
The Ohio delegation and guests are housed at the Mainsail Suites close to the Tampa airport. At this time, all Ohio activities are expected to proceed as scheduled through tomorrow and Monday. We identified a church service to attend in the morning and then will attend a welcome brunch by invitation from the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. There is supposed to be a welcome party on the beach tomorrow afternoon but as I watch The Weather Channel … I’m pretty certain that isn’t going to happen.
The Ohio Republican Party seems to have a very capable and experienced team keeping us informed. So far, everything I’ve heard on the local news about the convention is information I’ve already received through text or the phone app.
Aug. 25, 2012, 10:42 p.m.