By Albert Angulo
Tropical Storm Isaac swept across southern Haiti early Saturday, pelting a country still recovering from a 2010 earthquake before heading toward Cuba and Florida. The storm is now heading toward eastern Cuba, and forecasters say it poses a threat to Florida just as the Republican Party gathers for its national convention in Tampa.
The stormed weakened after passing over Haiti but it’s expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it nears the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico.
The convention is still scheduled to start Monday and continue through Thursday. However, organizers are working with state and federal authorities on monitoring the storm as they prepared for the arrival of as many as 60,000 people – including 70,000 delegates, journalists and protesters.
Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott said there are no plans right now to cancel the convention but the state has an emergency plan in place and “everybody needs to be prepared.”
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said a hurricane warning is in effect for the Florida Keys and for the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach south to Florida Bay.