After a major catagory F2 tornado caused severe damage to many buildings and homes in Branson, Missouri today (February 29, 2012), the Live Music Show Capital of the World is already back in business doing what it does best… entertaining it’s out of town guests.
The Hamner Barber Theater would like to extend it’s prayers and let folks outside of our area know that immediate assistance is going out to all those who were negatively impacted by the storm. It’s also important to remind everyone that despite the storm, the majority of Branson businesses are open and are thriving. Anyone interested in visiting is encouraged to keep their vacation plans intact and travel to this unique travel destination soon. Spring break is an especially popular time for families from across the country to share in the fun and exciting attractions to be found in the Ozarks.
Most Branson hotels, restaurants, shops and theaters including the Hamner Barber Theater were not damaged at all by the tornado and are still open and entertaining the hundreds of thousands of visitors who arrive on a weekly basis to experience an unforgettable getaway with family and friends.
A Coincidence & A Catastrophe
February 29th is known as “Leap Day” for that particular date usually only occurs in years that are evenly divisible by 4, such as the years 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 according to the Gregorian calendar. People who are born on “Leap Day” often claim to be a quarter of their real age as their actual birth date skips a few years between each celebration.
Many well-known individuals throughout history have shared this famous birthday including an american burlesque entertainer named Tempest Storm who was born in 1928. Her bawdy career in show business made her famous, and her legally changed stage name “Tempest Storm” became a synonym for major weather disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
A Tempest Storm Is Born
Today, on February 29, 2012, Ms. Storm celebrated her 84th “actual” birthday, but became legal in her own sense of the word by celebrating her 21st “leap birthday.” This happened to be the very same day that another “Tempest Storm” of nature’s fury was unleashed on the Live Music Show Capital of the World, Branson, Missouri.
Branson’s very first tornado swept through the tourist mecca in the early hours of the morning and proved to be quite destructive in many ways, yet randomly forgiving in others.
The storm was very destructive to several Branson theaters, lodging establishments, restaurants, and homes in a random path along the famous West 76 Country Boulevard down to the Historic Downtown area, Branson Landing.
While the property damage caused by the storm was significant, the vast majority of Branson area hotels, attractions, theatres, restaurants and shops are just fine and are welcoming visitors to the Live Music Show Capital of the World.
Recovery Efforts Are Already Underway.
A standing-ovation goes to the amazingly coordinated rescue and cleanup efforts led by the City of Branson, our Mayor Raeanne Presley and the hundreds of local and county police, highway patrol, fire rescue, medical, and other emergency services personnel who were on the job immediately after the disaster. By mid-day, all major roadways were cleared and cleaned of debris and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, cleanup efforts for damaged properties is occurring at a tremendously fast rate of speed.
Electrical trucks were everywhere, quickly repairing fallen power lines and replacing damaged poles. The speed of recovery is unbelievable with credit going to the quality emergency preparedness of the City and County in case of such an event.
Major attractions such as Silver Dollar City, Sight & Sound Theatre, Moon River Theatre, and Showboat Branson Belle, (while closed during the first quarter of the year) sustained no damage; TITANIC Museum Attraction, Tanger Outlet Mall, and numerous other theatres, attractions, restaurants and retail stores are also undamaged and remain open.