EF2 Tornado Tears Through Branson, Missouri


Wednesday, February 29th 2012, 7:13 am
By: News On 6


The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down near Branson, Missouri early Wednesday morning. 

The storm damaged a number of businesses in the area and caused a significant amount of property damage. There were no deaths reported, although there were a number of minor injuries.

The majority of the storm damage centered around the Historic Downtown area, Branson Landing and a section of West 76 Country Boulevard west of Gretna Road/Hwy 165.

Many of those businesses have already made repairs and are planning to be open on Thursday or Friday.

Branson Landing is planning on having most if not all the stores re-opened by Thursday.  Several others hope to have things cleaned up and reopen on Friday.

Early Wednesday morning a number of businesses including several theatres along Highway 76 were damaged by a line of storms which blew through the Missouri community.

Police closed Highway 76 from U.S. Highway 65 to state Highway 376 while crews worked to clean up the damage.

Skaggs Hospital in Branson says it treated 31 people following the storm.  Michelle LeRoux with the hospital says most of the injuries were minor to moderate, mostly cuts and abrasions.  All but six have been released from the hospital.

Start the slideshow

Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley promised Wednesday that the city will be back in business in days, maybe as early as Thursday, after what was believed to be a tornado ripped through Branson.

At a news conference on Wednesday morning, Presley said more of Branson is not damaged that was damaged.

The electric utility in the area, Empire District Electric reports at the height of the outages, they had 6,500 customers without power.  That number is now reduced to 5,500 customers in and around Branson.

The city of Branson says water and sewer services were not impacted by the storms.

A portion of Highway 76 escaped damage from the storm, while other stretches of the highway in Branson received significant damage.

Businesses damaged:

  • Dixie Stampede
  • Ride The Ducks
  • Grand Palace
  • Angel Inn
  • Walmart
  • Jubilee Foods
  • Branson Mall
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Branson Veterans Museum
  • Branson Variety Theatre
  • Americana Theatre
  • Hilton Convention Center
  • Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre
  • Leisure Country Inn
  • Blue Bayou Inn

The folks at Silver Dollar City, just west of Branson, say it did not sustain any damage and will open for business as scheduled next month.

Start the slideshow

Two shelters were set up by the city.  One is for Branson residents at the Branson Rec Plex and the other is for tourists and visitors at Branson Towers. 

The Red Cross has a website for family and friends to leave word that they are safe.
The website is safeandwell.communityos.org.

The Branson Airport was unaffected by the storms, and flights are departing and arriving with no delays.    

Individuals and groups interested in volunteering or providing assistance to the recovery effort can visit ExploreBranson.com or call 800-296-0463.