Branson residents begin difficult recovery

BRANSON, Mo. - While many may only know Branson as a tourist destination with hotels and theaters, it's also home to year-round residents. Now some of them have to begin putting their lives back together.

"We never expected a tornado up here," said Janice Carlson.

Carlson lives in the Mount Branson neighborhood, on a hill east of downtown. Her home was damaged in the storm.

"There's trees lining the south side. They're all laying on the house," she said.

Looking around her neighborhood, Carlson knows most of her neighbors are in the same boat.

What's next is to "just start cleaning up. Try to get the home back together," said Carlson.

A block away, Roger Lang is thinking about moving on, instead of cleaning up.

"Got woke up about 1:45 a.m.," Lang said. "My trailer lifted about four feet up into the air. My ears popped, I heard the roar. I knew it was a tornado."

A tree came crashing down on his mobile home, demolishing it.

"It trapped me under the ceiling for an hour and a half before they got me out," said Lang.

Before he was freed, Lang's service dog, Blossom, instinctively came to his rescue.

"She just finally, last night, quit shaking," said Lang.

He is left with a bruised kidney, bumps and bruises, and nowhere to go.

"I don't know what I'm going to do, I really don't," he said.

For now, Lang and Blossom are staying in a Red Cross shelter, feeling lost but lucky.

Lang suffers from chronic seizures and is on disability, with an income of $500 per month. He is worried about finding affordable rent in Branson.
 

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