Fictitious hurricane heads for Tampa Bay next week

3:35 PM, May 19, 2012   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A fictitious hurricane is heading for Tampa Bay.

Hurricane Gispert next week will test Florida's ability to respond to a storm hitting the region during what state officials describe as "a special event with increased population."

Tampa, in fact, is hosting such an event, the Republican National Convention, at the height of the hurricane season in August.

The annual statewide hurricane exercise with be held Monday through Thursday.

The imaginary hurricane is named for former Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Larry Gispert, who retired last year.

The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through the end of November.

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