Noah might have seen more rain quicker than the Branson area did Easter Weekend and into the first part of Easter Week, but the Ole Seagull hasn’t. If that rainfall wasn’t what some people refer to as an “Act of God” then nothing is. There wasn’t anything anyone on this earth could have done to prevent the comparatively minimal flooding that resulted in the low-lying areas below Table Rock Dam on Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries from that rain and the record releases of water from Table Rock Dam it caused, but “Branson” was never flooded.
That’s a relatively important point. All the media reports about Branson being flooded, federal disaster declarations and the national news coverage of flooding in the Midwest could give potential Branson visitors the perception that Branson is flooded. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
As unfortunate as it is for those who were affected by the flooding, and the sympathy an Ole Seagull feels for their situation, it must be kept in perspective. In terms of the Branson that the vast majority of Branson’s millions of visitors come to enjoy each year, its great live shows, exciting attractions, fabulous shopping, the famous Branson Strip and many other activities; the problems being endured by those in the low-lying areas of Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries and a few homes and condos along the banks of Lake Taneycomo is a nonevent.
“Now hold on there Seagull, it’s not a ‘nonevent’ to those whose property and lives were impacted by it.” “Didn’t say that, of course it is to them, but it should be a ‘nonevent’ in terms of the millions of potential visitors who drive Branson’s economic engine and without whom the economic effect on our area will be much greater than that suffered by those impacted by the high water.
As regrettable and unfortunate as the damage to those directly impacted is, it is one of the hazards assumed when we elect to live in the shadow of a flood control dam or near creeks and other water sources. And by “we” the Ole Seagull includes himself. He lived on the shores of Lake Taneycomo for about 22 years until the 2008 Flood. At that time he factored in what he had learned during that experience and made the decision that he did not want to assume that risk any longer.
The reason that is mentioned is, media hype, sensationalism and ignorance aside, that flooding in Branson generally entails low-lying and other property located along creeks and Lake Taneycomo and has not one iota of impact on the majority of the millions of visitor that Branson entertains every year. Unfortunately, when those same visitors hear that “Branson is flooded” they have a different perception of “flood.”
That perception, particularly this year, with all the national news about flooding in the Midwest, impacts on their vacation decisions and whether or not they will come to Branson. If they don’t come, then a bad situation gets exponentially worse as businesses suffer, perhaps to the point of closing; people lose income from getting hours cut or worse, lose their jobs; tax revenues go up etc.
The really sad thing is not just the impact that could have on Branson’s economy and its citizens, but the special Branson experience that those who don’t come to Branson because of that perception will miss. “But Seagull, surely, after 2008 and its impact on tourism, the city of Branson, Branson Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District (TCED) and Branson Lakes Area CVB, with their millions of dollars of tax payer marketing money, had an Emergency Plan in place to effectively and immediately respond to the potential economic dangers events of this type pose and mitigate their effects.” “Well, based on what they did do, or more importantly what they didn’t do, probably not.”
Related Link: Branson is Not Flooded FAQ and Status Report