Nightly News | August 23, 2012
>> this brings us to tampa , florida , itself, where nbc's kerry sanders is standing by where preparations are under way we're told. kerry, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. over my shoulder the tampa convention center . this historic city says it is ready for presidential politics , for protests next week, but the question tonight is, is it ready for a hurricane? at the tampa bay times forum where the convention is scheduled to begin monday, teams today were putting up rain shelters. much of downtown tampa is a tent city , but in a storm that could be a problem. already this week a thunderstorm kicked up 60-mile-per-hour winds knocking down what was supposed to provide shade from florida 's 90-degree heat. party leaders calculated even though it's the height of hurricane season this city would be a safe bet for the 65,000 people expected to travel here next week. if there is an order to evacuate, it will come from tampa 's mayor, bob buckhorn.
>> in terms of an actual evacuation of the city of tampa , that is my call. we haven't been hit by a hurricane in 90 years but we plan for this every year.
>> reporter: one thing that makes tampa so vulnerable? it's bound by water to the south and west and in a major hurricane a storm surge could swamp the city under more than eight feet of water. even if isaac only brushes the area there could be logistical problems. while the convention is in tampa , the majority of the delegates are staying at beach hotels on the other side of tampa bay in pinellas county . the three bridges and causeways make it a short, 30-minute drive. but if winds require closing the bridges the over land route can take up to three hours each way. police who have been training for crowd control for months say one thing isaac may do is keep tens of thousands of protesters away.
>> this is declared an unlawful assembly .
>> reporter: a federal law enforcement bulletin today warns there is high confidence anarchists will attempt to disrupt the convention. with 4,000 officers trained for the event tampa ace police chief says they're prepared and realistic.
>> frankly the most worrisome for us or for any law enforcement officer is that lone wolf individual that's not communicating with anyone else and is coming in to act on their own.
>> reporter: more than half of those 4,000 police officers here are on loan from other departments around the state. now, if isaac causes problems in their communities, they may have to leave here to go help out storm victims but the tampa police department says they have a contingency plan and that should not be a problem, brian.
>> kerry, thanks. can't wait to get down there and cover it all. kerry sanders in tampa , florida tonight.