Last night was terrifying. At around 1am, myself and Ryan and our dog were taking cover in our condo’s bathtub after hearing that a tornado had touched down a few miles from us and could be headed our way.
We later learned that the tornado ended up traveling just north of where we live, making a line down the middle of Branson from one end of town to the other. You can view its path on this map. Below is a screenshot of its reported route through downtown, and the red arrow is pointing to where my studio is located.
Having seen the damage in person today, it appears that the direct path of the tornado more likely started down Pacific but then jumped one block over to College St. and then started to curve back toward Pacific just as it had passed my place. How it managed to narrowly miss the studio is astonishing. The only effects I experienced were some minor roof damage and my sign has gone missing. As you can see from the photos of downtown below, several neighboring homes and businesses were not so fortunate and my heart goes out to them…
ABOVE: the view from outside my studio looking down Pacific St.
BELOW: a cropped close-up of the destruction on the hillside across Lake Taneycomo
BELOW: the intersection of Pacific and Commercial in downtown Branson
BELOW: Branson Landing damage and more destruction on the hillside behind it across Lake Taneycomo
BELOW: more photos of the damage to the Hilton Hotel. This tall building with curtains flying out of broken windows made me have flashbacks of the photos I took last year of the damaged hospital in Joplin.
ABOVE & BELOW: The cleanup process has been quick to start. Branson is such a resilient community, and affected businesses are working fast to re-open. It’s also worth noting that there are still many other businesses in town that were not affected at all. My hope is that tourism does not experience too large of a negative effect. It’s what drives our local economy. There’s much to see and do in Branson, come for a visit and help support our local businesses.
BELOW (NEXT 3 PHOTOS): structural damage and downed trees on College St.; one block over from my studio
BELOW: My cottage studio with tarped roof. Incredibly thankful…it only experienced some minor damage. My Heritage Row neighbors are okay, as well