|Updated: 2/29/2012 8:44 pm
||Published: 2/29/2012 8:36 pm
Wednesday night, Branson officials report no fatalities from the storms. More than thirty people got hurt, though. Right now, Branson inspection crews are assessing the safety of buildings to see which ones need to close for repairs, which could impact family vacations.
"The season is gonna be hurting for everybody this year. And I don't even know how to-- this is devastating for Branson," said one Branson neighbor.
Right now, Branson's Convention and Visitors Bureau reports about a dozen of the city's more than two-hundred hotels sustained significant damage, including the Hilton Convention Center which is now closed for repairs.
The worst damage is in the historic downtown area, Branson Landing (now closed) and a section of W 76 Country Boulevard west of Highway 165.
Five or six of Branson's more than fifty theaters closed their doors, including the Branson Variety Theater and the Americana Theatre.
Denny Strickland performs in Branson. He survived the storms in his tour bus. A tornado picked it up, and threw it across the road with him inside.
"I felt like something swooped me up and I immediately fell on my back. That's why I have a lot of-- I'm pretty sore between my shoulder blades. Of course, I cut my wrist. The countertop slid off and got me. You know, it was just a rush," Denny Strickland
The storms did not impact major attractions, including Silver Dollar City, Sight and Sound Theatre, the showboat Branson Belle or the outlets.
The damage is so severe, Missouri's Governor declared the entire county a disaster area, but doesn't want you to cancel your family vacation.
"The bottom line is we are confident that Branson will be back bigger and better than ever," said Governor Jay Nixon.