Branson Leap Day Tornado
Pointe Royale Properties, Inc.
Early this morning, a tornado tore through the heart of Ozark Mountain Country, leaving several families homeless, several people injured, and several questions looming.
1. Is Branson Open for Business? First of all, and this is very important, Branson is still open, still ready to entertain. I recall the national news from the flooding in years past leaving the impression that Branson was under water, and to stay away. That wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. We're Open! The vast majority of Branson's entertainment venues, shopping centers, and eateries were untouched by the tornado. And your tourism dollars will aid greatly in getting this town back to full strength.
2. What Was Damaged? Several homes, businesses, and a few of the theatres. The most important of these damages is the damage to the homes. Families have lost everything, businesses have lost everything. But no life was lost in the Branson area. There were between 30 and 40 injuries, mostly minor. That is such a blessing! The homes and businesses can and will be re-built. The theatres that sustained substantial damage are the Branson Variety Theatre, Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre, and the Americana Theatre. And those are not total losses, and should be re-openning this year, hopefully by the summer. Also, the Veteran's Museum and the Branson Auto Museum sustained damage, as did several other businesses. For a more complete list of properties damaged by the tornado, Click Here. The path of the storm stayed, for the most part, on 76 Country Boulevard, or within a block or so to the north or south as it leapt around town. There was also damage at the Hilton Convention Center and other nearby businesses at the Branson Landing. The path of the storm was very narrow, but very long, about 20 miles total and about 7 miles of that right through Branson......long enough to go from the west end of town clear to the east.
3. How Can I Help? The authorities are asking that volunteers not "self deploy." So, don't just show up. One way to offer your assistance is by going to the website set up for just this purpose: http://www.volunteerbranson.org/. SEMA and local officials will be announcing other ways to help in the days ahead, likely through local churches and the Red Cross.
4. When Can I Come Back to Branson? The short answer is, as soon as you want to, as most of Branson is undamaged. There is debris on the road in some places, but city officials expect that to be gone in 1 or 2 days. Seriously. This town is tough, and this town is together. We are gonna pull together and get this thing done! So, please, don't hesitate to visit our lovely city. We'll have a bit of construction mess on 76 for a bit.........but we'll have it back better than ever before you can believe!