Obama offers support as Tropical Storms Isaac nears Florida
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday called Florida Governor Rick Scott to offer the federal government's support as Tropical Storm Isaac has been strengthening and approaching the state where the Republican party 's convention is due to convene next week, Xinhua reported.
Obama told Scott the administration was ready to provide assistance for "unmet needs or additional resources," including efforts to ensure the safety of those visiting the state for the Republican National Convention, according to a readout of the call released by the White House.
Earlier on Sunday, Obama received a briefing from officials on preparations underway for the tropical storm, which could become a hurricane as early as later Sunday.
During the briefing, Obama also asked Craig Fugate, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to continue coordinating preparations with state and local officials. The agency has sent teams to Florida and Louisiana ahead of the storm to support state and local preparations.
The National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a Hurricane Warning for the portions of Florida, which means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.
The Republican National Committee on Saturday evening canceled prepared events for next Monday, the opening day of its party convention due to the impact of Isaac.
The party's chairman Reince Priebus said the Republican National Convention will convene next Monday in Tampa, Florida but "immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon."
Priebus on Sunday said organizers were drafting an updated schedule for the convention. Republican Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida on Saturday morning and urged local residents to get prepared for the worst scenario Isaac might cause.
He canceled his plans to participate in the opening day of the party's convention to focus on the state's preparations for Isaac. He was expected to give a speech at the convention on Monday night, kicking off the four-day convention during which Mitt Romney will be formally nominated by the party.
Local officials in Tampa, a city on west coast of Florida and venue of the RNC, have been informed on issues that may occur due to Isaac and delegates to the convention have been informed on how to remain safe during a storm.
The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa from Monday to Thursday. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, journalists and other guests, while thousands of protesters are also said to come along.