|Table Rock Dam releasing water over the spillway.// (c) 2011 Branson CVB|
The record-breaking severe weather that has recently taken place in the Midwestern U.S. has brought both challenges and fellowship to the people of Branson, MO. The storm system that spawned an F5 tornado in nearby Joplin, MO. has also contributed to rising water levels in the lakes and rivers near Branson. While the city itself is not flooded and the vast majority of attractions remain open, some areas are affected by the high water.
Table Rock Dam continues to release water over the spillway into Lake Taneycomo. While Branson Landing, which lies on the lake, remains open, the Texas Land & Cattle restaurant as well as floating businesses along the boardwalk are closed. Performances of the Water and Fire Spectacular fountain have been postponed.
Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lake continue to be at or near flood stage, and as a result boaters and fisherman are advised to beware of swift currents and to always wear life jackets on the water. Boating on Lake Taneycomo is not advised due to the dangerous currents.
Shadowrock Park and Campground in Forsyth remains flooded and likely will remain closed throughout the summer. Moonshine Beach park and boat ramp on Table Rock Lake is closed due to high water levels.
The Taney County Fair, scheduled for June 14-18, has been relocated from Shadowrock Park to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park west of Forsyth on Highway 76.
In addition, turbulent weather patterns across the Midwest have caused problems with airport traffic. “We’ve seen quite a few cancellations or delays, particularly due to the weather conditions in Dallas,” said Kent Lloyd of Springfield-Branson National Airport.
Even while Branson faces these challenges, people are taking the opportunity to come together and help their neighbors in need. The “Help Joplin” Tornado Benefit Concert will take place on May 28 in the Kimberling City Shopping Center. While admission is free all l donations will go to support Convoy of Hope’s efforts in Joplin. Blood drives for the American Red Cross, volunteers for Jesus Was Homeless and donation points at various public buildings in the Branson area have all given residents the chance to help their neighbors.
Lynn Berry, director of public relations for the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, said, “We are fortunate to have a very wonderful community of good neighbors that is wholly and totally focused on helping our local residents overcome this high-water effect in their homes as well as sending truckloads of bottled water and other much-needed items over to the Joplin area. They are our good friends and neighbors in Joplin, and we think about them every day.”
For updates on the severe weather and for more information, please visit www.explorebranson.com