Branson Tornado: The Show Will Go On
Branson Tornados leave town bruised, but not beaten.
Latest Updates: 3/1/2012 - See a list of Shows & Business Closed For Repairs. As of this morning the Highway 76 Strip was open end to end to traffic.
In the early morning of February 29, 2012 a strong storm that spawned a tornado hit the entertainment district of famed tourist destination, Branson, Missouri. Despite extensive reports of damage, there were very few severe injuries and no deaths. While several local businesses will be closed temporarily for repairs & renovations, the majority businesses in Branson will be ready & waiting for visitors the first week of March, the traditional beginning of the entertainment season.
Severe damage from the storm was mainly focused on a line from the west side of Branson, meeting the Highway 76 strip near Gretna Road, and following it downtown, damaging homes & businesses along the way. Damage was limited to a very narrow path, some theaters and other businesses along the strip were damaged while others a few blocks away were unscathed. Thousand Hills, a Branson lodging resort near the center of town reported no notable damage to their condos and cabins just a few blocks north and south of the area.
Due to the high winds and tree damage, power has been off for much of the city throughout the day, but utility officials report that crews are working around the clock to restore power to all the homes & businesses in the area. As of 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, power had already been brought back on in a large portion of the area that had been out without. According to Mayor Reanne Presley, the city is expediting cleanup and repair efforts and that the City of Branson would be fully prepared for visitors within days, potentially as early as Thursday. Many roads that were debris covered and closed early Wednesday morning, including the famed Highway 76 “Strip” were open to traffic by early afternoon. The recovery process began almost immediately and has proceeded swiftly because the first week in March is traditionally the start of the busiest tourist season in Branson. City officials hope to clear roads and debris quickly so as not to interfere with the planned opening of many shows and attractions.
Travelers to Branson are encouraged to check the Branson Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for the latest news on the recovery effort. This can be found at http://www.facebook.com/bransoncvb Many local businesses are also using that page to get the word out that they are still open and ready for tourists. By this weekend the majority of Branson will be ready to entertain and “The Show Will Go On”.
Thousand Hills Resort has been a Branson lodging provider for nearly 20 years and offers Branson condos, cabins and Table Rock lakefront condos for nightly rental. Power was restored to the Thousand Hills Clubhouse and check-ins were proceeding normally by late Wednesday morning. For the latest information visit Thousand Hills on the web at Thousandhills.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thousandhillsresort
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