Organizers of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference said today that IBEX will open as scheduled on Sept. 19 despite Hurricane Irma.
“The Tampa Convention Center and all our hotels are fine,” IBEX show director Anne Dunbar said in a statement on LinkedIn. “There is no major damage downtown.”
Dunbar said preregistrations continue to increase daily despite the storm. The show also issued a press release today, saying pre-event workshops will start on Monday and all seminars and other IBEX activities also remain unchanged.
Dunbar said preregistrations continue to increase daily despite the storm.
“We have on record the largest pre-reg ever, with people coming from all 50 states and 69 countries,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to Tampa next week!”
Meanwhile, Irma continued its path north as a tropical depression today, although the National Hurricane Center stopped issuing alerts about the system Monday night as it continued to weaken.
Irma, downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone this morning, is still expected to bring heavy rain and wind today to the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Coast Guard helped to rescue more than 100 people stranded in Jacksonville floodwaters on Monday.
The hurricane, which tore a path of destruction across the Caribbean and through Florida, has caused at least 11 deaths in the United States and left about 6.7 million people without power in five states, according to ABC News.
Two days after Irma made landfall on the Florida Keys, authorities and residents were finally able to reach some of the islands today, according to CNN.
An estimated 25 percent of the houses on the chain of islands have been destroyed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday. Another 65 percent suffered major damage.
"Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way," FEMA Administrator Brock Long told the network.
On Sunday the Coast Guard rescued two boaters and a dog from a sailboat 100 miles south of Apalachicola, Fla., and released video of the rescue on Monday.
Before making landfall in the United States, Irma pummeled the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm, killing at least 36, and has left many island residents imploring not to be forgotten.
Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said Barbuda was “barely inhabitable” and “literally a rubble,” according to the Washington Post.
Cuba was also hard hit by the storm, with 10 confirmed dead as a result.
This video shows the Bitter End Yacht Club, a favorite destination of sailboaters in the British Virgin Islands, destroyed by Irma.