Branson Tornado

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BRANSON - Local businesses began the long road to recovery after an EF-2 tornado touched down in the city just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

The tornado traveled just over eight miles along the 76 Country Boulevard strip where Branson's famous music halls are located.  The city serves around 11 million visitors each year, and the busiest season is just beginning.  One hotel owner said this is devastating to her business.  Although her property is insured, the repairs won't be completed in time to take in crucial revinue during this season.

Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference in Branson Wednesday afternoon and said the emergency response was impressive.  Nixon also said there were no confirmed deaths at that time, only minor injuries reported.  After the Joplin tornado last May, Nixon believes the city was better prepared for a similar situation to occur.  He said sirens were taken seriously, which he thinks saved many lives.

One Branson resident said he thinks Branson will receive a lot of helping hands from neighboring cities over the next few weeks.  Nixon said there won't be an estimated cost of damage until the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) can assess properties.  He said right now, emergency responders are sweeping the area to make sure everyone is safe.