BRANSON, Mo. — With consistent rain expected, the city of Branson will be under a flood watch, starting Tuesday afternoon. (Feb. 20)
The city has received compensation from flooding last year and city officials are prepared in the event it gets hit with more flood damage.
“The city has received a check from FEMA and that’s solely reimbursement for repairs and projects that have been completed by the city from post flooding in previous years. For example, repairs to sewer lift stations..or to Stockstill Park. So, it’s not just a windfall for the city. It is solely to reimburse funding that was spent to keep our city working solid within the park system and utilities for example,” says Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin.
He also says they strengthened their emergency partnerships — and with this weeks heavy rain expected, that is key. “Some examples include improved communications from the “Corp of Engineers,” giving us a little bit better heads up on what to expect.” They truly have to be focused on the rainfall that is hitting the basin and what the current elevations are. They cannot go off of predictions. And so to do that as quickly and efficiently as possible, they’ve become a great partner in keeping us informed on gate changes for example.”
Last year during the flooding the entire Branson City Campgrounds was evacuated. This year, Chief Martin says, they’ve tweeked their communication system with the public.
“With our Branson alert system we have a geographical area set up that we know is typically in the flood prone areas.. where residents and businesses in that geographical site or location can opt in to receive instant messages from the city. Either by cell phone, land line phone, text message or email.”
Branson Mayor Karen Best says, past experiences with flooding in Branson has helped them learn what and what not to do in these situations.
“You know when I started this job 3 years ago, within the first I believe it was 30 days, we had our first flash flood. and so we’ve had so many since then, that we are ever ready.”
Chief Martin says they have been communicating with the National Weather Service since Saturday and they do know what the lake levels are. He also says they will be communicating with their emergency management partners, over the next 24 hours, as this current system develops.