Transportation authorities plan for flooding, evacuations - FOX 13 News

Transportation authorities plan for flooding, evacuations

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Years of preps, millions of dollars and one heck of a party for Tampa Bay all appear to be threatened by a storm named Isaac.  So much uncertainty surrounds it right now, and its potential impact on the RNC so everyone is keeping a close eye.

"We have contingency plans we'd put in place and at all levels," said Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman.

If Isaac starts clearly heading for us, emergency officials won't wait long to take action.  In Pinellas County, hospitality evacuations could start as soon as a tropical storm or hurricane watch is posted.

"We want to make sure they have as much time as possible so they can get out quickly and safely and get home before the storm makes its landfall," said Tom Iovino, with Pinellas County Communications.

Should evacuations be necessary, roadways could become congested, considering the RNC is bringing in some 50,000 or more people, many from out of town. 

That's why officials are encouraging everyone to have a plan ahead of time, and take any warnings seriously.

"What we do is step up our plans, we increase the number of resources we're going to be utilizing, and in a sense it's a good thing we already have our partners at the table," said Tampa Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Debra Sue Warshefski.

Even if the storm misses us, it could still douse us in rain, causing flooding issues. Officials with Florida's Turnpike Enterprise say they're ready in case parts of the Suncoast start flooding, as it did after Tropical Storm Debbie.

"On the Suncoast Parkway we continue to monitor on the northern end of U.S. 98. In the event of an evacuation, we have plans in place that if it looks like it's going to take on water, we're ready to pump and keep it open," said Christa Deason. 

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