The country music resort city of Branson, Missouri arguably suffered the most damage, with most of the town looking like a war zone after a powerful tornado swept through.
The tornado had winds of 120 mph to 130 mph and was about 400 yards wide, according to the National Weather Service. Fortunately for Branson, the tornado hit mostly in a commercial area leaving few residents affected and 150+ nearby hotels mostly intact.
Unfortunately for Branson-based Myer Hotels, part of the roof was lifted off its Best Western Center Pointe Inn and many windows were broken out.
The storm damaged some of the city’s best-known venues as it swept through town.
The Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson stated that some 37 people were treated for injuries starting at 2 a.m. local time.
Although most of the injuries were minor, one person was critically injured in a roof collapse.
The Legends Theater, the Andy Williams Moon River Theater, and the Branson Variety Theater all sustained significant damage.
Staff at the Best Western acted quickly in the middle of the night to get guests transferred to other properties nearby, said Chris Myer, VP of marketing for the company that owns and operates six hotels in Branson.
“Our staff did an awesome job. They got people into the hallway,” Myer said. “After the storm passed, we were able to get the people moved to another one of our hotels. At the end of the day the guests were safe, and that’s what you want.”
“”Probably our biggest concern is the media reports when they show pictures of the devastation,” Myer added. “There are few buildings that have been harmed and a lot of the major attractions went untouched. The show will go on.”
Check out some of the damage in the photos and video below.
Photos via: Denver Post
- PICTURES: Branson Tornado Damage (fox2now.com)
- EF2 tornado strikes Branson, Missouri, overnight; it was on ground for 20 miles – CNN (edition.cnn.com)
- Lives Turned Upside Down By Tornado In Branson (fox4kc.com)
- Jim Cantore reports from Harrisburg, compares tornado to Tuscaloosa and Joplin (examiner.com)