Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told reporters this morning that things were running smoothly in his city – both from Tropical Storm Isaac and the first protests connected to the Republican National Convention.
During a morning briefing at the Tampa Convention Center, the mayor said the city was likely to get some bands of heavy winds and rain today, and that low-lying areas such as South Tampa that frequently flood in heavy rains would do so again, but that no storm surge of any significance was expected.
Buckhorn joked that the city has gotten more mentions in the media because of the tropical storm.
” I have become America’s weatherman, whether I chose to or not,” Buckhorn said.
“Traffic this morning was fine, no snarls to speak of,” Buckhorn said. “I think everyone paid attention to what we said, to make sure they give themselves ample time to get to work.”
Things might change Tuesday, he said, when 400 buses are put to use transporting Republican delegates streaming into downtown along with regular traffic.
Buckhorn said the city was ready for the first significant RNC protest, which was scheduled for Monday morning.
The mayor said his officers are out patrolling the streets looking for anarchic graffiti.
“There will be folks here that are interested in causing problems,” said Buckhorn, adding they are interested in destroying property and injuring law enforcement personnel, “and I’m not going to allow that to happen.”
Buckhorn said he did not know if the inclement weather would play a role in the size of today’s protests.
He also warned protesters and visitors alike that when the weather returns to its normal, staying hydrated in the heat is vital.
“When it warms up and the sun comes out … there will be a lot of humidity. It will be oppressive. Folks who are out there on the street need to stay hydrated.”