(CNN) – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is staying in his home state for now as Tropical Storm Isaac heads towards New Orleans.
The two-term governor was to arrive in Tampa on Tuesday to address the delegates of Republican National Convention that evening. Instead of preparing for his high-profile speech, he declared a state of emergency Sunday and asked for voluntary evacuations in 15 low-lying parishes on or near the Gulf Coast.
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"My priority is the safety of our people. And certainly as this storm threatens the public safety here in Louisiana, I'm not going anywhere," Jindal said at a news conference. "As long as we're in harms way, I need to be right here doing my job and that's what I'm going to be doing."
Under the RNC's new revised schedule, Jindal is expected to speak Wednesday night should he attend the convention.
Jindal isn't the only member of the Louisiana delegation not attending the convention. Jefferson Parish President John Young canceled his plans due to the potential impact Isaac could have on his constituents. State Rep, Lenar Whitney and New Orleans public service commission member Eric Skrmetta are currently driving back to Louisiana as well.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday night that all programs for Monday, the first day of the convention, were canceled.
Back in 2008, Jindal had to cancel his attendance and speech at the GOP convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to nominate John McCain due to Hurricane Gustav.
Not willing to take any risks in an area that has been severely affected by these storms in the past, Jindal sought to prepare residents in southern Louisiana for the heavy winds and 12 to 16 inches of rainfall expected to start hitting the coast as early as Sunday night.
"There's really nothing that's going to stop this storm from forming and strengthening," Jindal said. "I think it's much better to be prepared for the worst, even as we hope for the best."
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