• Officials say they're prepared for different scenarios during DNC, including weather

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Could a severe storm, tornado or hurricane hit during the DNC in Charlotte?

    Tropical Storm Isaac is heading toward Florida. The RNC is being held in Tampa.

    Enrico Ferro and his family, Italian tourists, just left there.

    “We kept a look at The Weather Channel,” Ferro said. “We came from Florida, so we wanted to see if anything bad would happen.”

    The concern is how all those security perimeters, fences and checkpoints would hamper evacuations if severe weather strikes during the DNC. With thousands of people in the streets of uptown, many restricted by security zones, where would they go quickly to see shelter?

    During Speed Street in 2006, a storm with lightning, hail and strong winds knocked over tents and sent people scrambling.

    What if during the DNC, people are restricted with where they can run?

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and fire have repeatedly denied Eyewitness News’ request for interviews to answer that question.

    In a statement about Carolina Fest on Labor Day, the fire department said it would "follow the same protocol implemented for uptown street festivals."

    And when it comes to the events at the arena and stadium, police said, "Our people have been extensively trained and are prepared for this monumental event, regardless of weather." 

    On Wednesday, the mayor of Tampa had plenty to say about Isaac.

    “We are prepared to call it off. Human safety trumps politics,” he said.

    Eyewitness News asked Charlotte's mayor about the same scenario here.

    “There is a lot of work that goes into contemplating different scenarios with weather and other things, and I feel like we will be prepared,” he said.

    Some planning to attend the convention said it would take a hurricane to keep them away.

    “Yeah, it is hurricane season. I’ve thought about that,” Star Williams said. “But it won’t stop anything.”

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