Tropical Storm Debby may be one huge Debbie downer, but no one will rain on the Miami Heat's parade to celebrate their 2012 victory in the NBA finals last week, despite the storm drenching northern Florida.
Although the National Weather Service has declared a 50 percent or more chance of rain, the Miami Heat parade will continue, as planned, beginning at 11 a.m. EST on Monday.
If it rains, the parade will continue, but if we have thunder and lightning, our recommendation to the Miami Heat is to stop the parade until the bad weather passes, Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told the Miami Herald.
Carroll said the rain and possible overcast will be a major plus for parade attendees to keep cool and prevent heat exhaustion from the usual 80-degree and higher temperatures in downtown Miami. He said paramedics on foot and scooters will be present along the route. The fire department will also have free water stations along the parade route to help keep attendees hydrated.
Tropical storm warnings for Debby were in effect on Monday, as the storm approached the Florida Panhandle; it was stationary over the Gulf of Mexico far from land. According to the Sun Times, Florida residents near the elbow of the state were evacuated from low-lying neighborhoods amid fear of flooding due to the heavy rain. An interstate bridge running from Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg was also closed.
At least one person died from the massive rain and isolated tornadoes from the storm. The newspaper also reported that one man in South Carolina disappeared Sunday afternoon while on a surfing vacation with family.
Come rain or shine, though, the nearly two-mile parade for the Miami Heat will go on. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, among other Miami Heat players, will be present to celebrate with fans.
The parade is set for 90 minutes, beginning at 11 a.m. at the corner of Southwest 8th Street and Second Avenue (Calle Ocho), before ending at the American Airlines Arena, according to the Sun Sentinel. The parade will also pass Brickell, the Intercontinental Hotel and Bicayne Boulevard.
The team's celebration is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. inside the American Airlines Arena following the parade's end. The celebration at the Arena is exclusive and free for season ticket holders, only, CBS Miami reported.
Miami has not celebrated an NBA Finals win or a parade since 2006, when Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O'Neal lead the Heat to a championship.
According to the Sun Sentinel, officials will not show the parade celebration on the large viewing screen outside of the American Airlines arena.