Isaac Could Become Hurricane Monday

Tampa still in the 'forecast cone'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 24, 2012 9:13 AM CDT
People look out at the beach as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches in Barahona, Dominican Republic, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

(Newser) – Tropical Storm Isaac is on its way to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but it's not as strong as expected—yet. By Monday, however, it could become a hurricane "somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico," a US forecaster tells the AP. Still, Republicans don't plan to halt their Tampa convention, says Florida governor Rick Scott, who notes that he's spoken directly to Mitt Romney about the storm. "Right now, there is not any anticipation there will be a cancellation," he says, per ABC News. The latest forecast shows the storm's path shifting to the west, possibly making landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border, but Tampa remains in the "forecast cone."

The storm soaked Puerto Rico yesterday, and as it heads toward Haiti, officials are readying boats, buses, and $50,000 in relief funds; the storm poses a particular danger to the thousands still living in tents after the 2010 earthquake, Reuters reports. Evacuations of low-lying areas have begun in the Dominican Republic, but "nobody wants to leave their homes for fear they'll get robbed," says a community leader. As much as 20 inches of rain could hit parts of Hispaniola. (Read more Tropical Storm Isaac stories.)

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