A few days ago I was scheduled to fish the the first central Everstart event at Table Rock Lake, that was before the tornado rolled into town. On Tuesday afternoon I put in a call to a friend, Steve Gregg, to see about jumping in the boat with him on Wednesday to do a little fishing. I decided to head down late Tuesday night, when I made it to Springfield I started hearing about tornados north of Springfield and the surrounding areas. I hadn't checked the weather so I figured the storms were heading northeast and I would be fine. I arrived in Branson West a few minutes after midnight and decided to stop at Walmart to get my new fishing liscense and then ran by a gas station to get a few drinks for the following day. It was almost 1 a.m. at this point and I decided I would just sleep for a few hours in the vehicle, since I neglected to call and tell the resort I was staying at I was going to arrive a day early. As I was laying back in my seat, at the Kimberling Inn, I still had the radio on and heard them announce tornado warnings for the area. I looked at my phone and saw the line of storms were almost right on top of us and then the town tornado sirens went off. I didn't really think a whole lot about it then noticed the wind was picking up, so I pulled over by the office and decided to go in. I walked in and asked the guy working the front desk if he minded if I hung out inside for a few minutes he said no problem and started to come over and talk to me. At this point I had been inside about 10 seconds when all of the sudden it happened, wind rushed through the building and blew open the front doors. I asked him where the safest place was and he said in the lower bathroom and we started that way and thats when the it hit. The wind was so strong I couldn't move, then the power went off and the wind stopped. I ducked in a side room and could hear glass falling all over then the lights flashed and I looked in the hall and saw the attendant had lost his shoe and had fallen in the hall. Next stop was the bathroom that was occupied by another fisherman who had left his room to find a safer place.
We stayed in the bathroom for a few more minutes and then decided it was over and came out. Taking a quick survey there was parts of the ceiling down and the ceiling over the restaurant was heavily damaged and water was pouring in. I decided to walk out and look around and noticed the sign was mangled, wires were laying on the ground and all of the windows of my vehicle were blown out except for the windshield. I decided to drive my mom's suv down because it got better gas mileage than my truck, as I looked at it I could tell it was a mess. I called Steve to see how he was and walked down to his room and on the way there I could tell it was a mess outside. I passed limbs, plywood and all other types of debris on my way to his room. His room had the front window blown out, the door was blown into the room and there was a peice of plywood off another building in his room as well. We went out to survey the damage outside and saw the grill of his truck was busted out, his windshield was shattered and the windows down the driver side were also blown out. The rest of the night was just a waiting game for the sun to rise so everyone could see the full extent of the damage.
When the sun finally came up you could really see the total picture of all the destruction all around the area. Vehicles and boats were damaged not to mention the motel which had extensive damage, docks were mangled and some were even missing. I decided to try to plastic my windows over and drive home, unfortunately the plastic didn't make it luckily it was a nice enough day to not be miserable. I met the adjuster the next day and was informed that the vehicle was totaled. Steve's vehicle was also totaled and his boat also sustained considerable damage. The FLW trailer also sustained heavy damage.
Fortunately for the most part everyone seemed to be in good health and spirits and felt very fortunate.