April Showers Brought Some Floods, But Branson is Open For Business

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While the unprecedented rains in April have brought flooding to the Branson area, the majority of resorts, shows, attractions and lodging in this resort town were never in danger from the flood waters and remain open and ready to serve visitors.

Table Rock Dam Floodgates

Table Rock Dam April 2011

Branson...was planned to take the possibility of a 100 year flood into account...most shops, restaurants and venues were never in danger from flood waters.

The recent heavy rains in the Ozarks have the Branson area's lakes, rivers and streams running high and above flood stage in some areas. Several homes and residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the floods. However, according to the Branson Chamber of Commerce, the attractions of Branson are available for spring visitors and are, with a few exceptions, fully open and ready for business as usual.

According to the Lynn Berry with the Branson Chamber of Commerce, the Branson area as a whole was planned to take the possibility of a "100-year flood" into account and with a few exceptions, most shops, restaurants and venues were never in danger from flood waters. For the most part the White River valley and it's flood control measures including Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lake have done their job and protected the majority of life and property along the river. According to the Army Corps of Engineers manager, Greg Oller, the situation at Table Rock Lake has stabilized and the enormous amount of rainfall received in the area has been controlled with the minimum possible disruption.

However, Lynn advises visitors to be aware of a few changes and closures brought about by the unprecedented April rainfalls that may require detours or slight plan changes. Highway 165/265 across Table Rock Dam will be closed for seven to ten days while repairs are made from a minor dirt slide. Visitors to the showboat Branson Belle, the Dewey Short Visitors Center or other attractions south of the dam will take the alternate route through Hollister on Highway 65, turning right onto Highway 165 and from there following the signs to those destinations.

Despite the high waters on Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing is open, except for the boardwalk and main fountain area. Most of the restaurants that had temporarily closed due to the lack of propane for cooking have already reopened. The iconic water and fire fountains at the landing are currently undergoing maintenance after being inundated and will not be performing until this is complete.

All major Branson attractions and resorts remain open and unaffected. Table Rock Dam Tours and Ride the Ducks are still operating, though routes and lengths of the tours have been changed. Visitors with plans should call for the latest information. Many city parks are under repair from the flash floods, including Stocksill Park, Lakeside RV Park, North Beach Park, Don Gardner Par 3 Golf Course, Sunset Park, and Shadowrock Park and Campground in Forsyth.

All Table Rock Lake attractions and marinas are open; The Missouri Water Patrol only advises boaters to take caution and restrict their activities on waters above flood stage, and to wear life jackets or other personal flotation devices if going near the water.

As on any vacation, the best plan visitors can have is to call their destination for the latest news and updates, or call the Branson Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-296-0463. But after a drenching April Branson, Missouri and the Branson Lakes Area continue to stay open for visitors by providing the full range of music, entertainment, shopping and more that visitors have come to expect.

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Mark Ruda

Neil Sawford
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