The Branson area is seeing icy conditions today and city governments and emergency personal are encouraging folks to stay off the roads if they can.
The Branson area is currently under a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service in Springfield, which will remain in effect until 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11.
The NWS has reported that freezing rain and freezing drizzle will impact southern Missouri today. Ice accumulation amounts across southern Missouri will range from a glaze to roughly 0.15 of an inch. The ice accumulation forecast shows that Branson could see up to 0.15 of an inch of ice.
The NWS is reminding folks that roads will be severely impacted from this ice. Those driving should be prepared for slower than normal traffic, with increased commute times and risk for accidents and slick spots on untreated roadways, elevated surfaces and walkways. Those who have to get out on the roads today, the NWS asks drivers to use caution while driving, take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
Due to inclement weather the following places are among those that have announced they will not be opening today, Wednesday, Feb. 10:
Branson City Hall (City Offices and Municipal Court)
Branson Tri-Lakes News
Tanger Outlets Branson
Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce
The Kimberling City City Hall
The Stone County Health Department
The Taney County Health Department
The Branson Landing is open, but it is up to the individual stores if they will open today or not.
“Please be advised that travel is not recommended,” said a press release from the city of Branson. “Roads in Branson are slick in spots. If you have to be out on the roads, street crews remind drivers to slow down in winter weather and make sure to give salt trucks and other city vehicles plenty of space to operate. When ice and snow are predicted, the city will call in 30 personnel from four different departments. These employees will work 24-hours a day, on rotating 12-hour shifts, on the city’s 13 different snow routes. Branson city crews clear and maintain approximately 250 lane-miles of roadway inside its boundaries. Every city-owned street will get cleared of snow.”
Several area entities have also taken to social media to encourage folks to stay off the roads today if they can.
“Hey folks, the roads are quite bad, several accidents in and around Branson," said the Branson Professional Firefighters Local 152 Facebook page. “If you can’t stay home, give yourself a lot of extra time to drive slow. It’s a good time to make sure you have extra warm clothes, a blanket, salt/sand and maybe a small scoop shovel in your vehicle for safety.”
“Please be cautious this morning,” said a post on the Stone County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. “Roads are ice covered and more precipitation is on the way. Thank you to all of our road crews that are out working this morning trying to salt the roads. If you do not need to be out today, please stay home.”
“City offices will be closed today due to weather,” said the City of Kimberling City on Facebook. “The Public Works Department has been working hard all this week to keep the city roadways as safe as possible, but if you have to be out driving give yourself extra time and be safe.”
While the area is currently fighting icy conditions, the NWS reports that arctic air is on its ways to the Ozarks and will arrive by this weekend. Temperatures will drop below zero in many areas by Sunday morning. The coldest temperatures and wind chills will be felt Saturday and Sunday mornings.
On Saturday, the NWS has predicted Branson will see a high near 22 and a low of around 3 degrees. On Sunday Branson could see a high near 17 and low around 5 degrees.
Wind chills could get down to as cold as -20 degrees, which are quite rare for the region, according to the NWS. The forecasted wind chills show Branson with -10 to -15 degree wind chill values during the weekend.