BRANSON, Mo. - A popular tourist attraction in Branson that was built to resemble damage left behind by a natural disaster made it through an EF2 tornado unscathed.
The exterior of Ripley's Believe It Or Not looks much like many other buildings on the Branson Strip, with cracks in the wall and what appears to be structural damage, but that's just the way the building was constructed, to resemble earthquake damage.
Five of the city's popular theaters were damaged by the storm that struck early Wednesday morning, along with 22 of the city's hotels, but city officials say there are still enough open rooms to accommodate tourists and volunteers heading to the resort town in southern Missouri.
Ripley's wasn't the only major attraction that was not damaged by the storm. Silver Dollar City, Sight and Sound Theatre, Showboat Branson Belle, TITANIC Museum Attraction, Hughes Brothers Theatre, RFD-TV The Theatre, IMAX Entertainment Complex and Tanger Outlet Mall all sustained little or no damage and were never closed after the storm.
As tourists, volunteers and residents navigate the strip, which opened to the public early Thursday morning, one thing motorists are dealing with is blowing debris left behind from the buildings that were damaged.