High water means a total loss for Independence liquor store

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Businesses across the metro are cleaning up from the water damage brought by recent storms, but for one Independence liquor store owner says the rains have left her inventory a complete loss.

Thelma Jordan, owner of Fairmount Liquor on 24 Highway in Independence, says that city health officials have ordered her to throw away her entire inventory—everything from cheap beer to top-shelf liquor—due to flooding from recent rains.

"Today I am taking everything in my store and destroying it and to me it is ridiculous," said Jordan, who says that she's had to destroy $300,000 worth of inventory. "Oh, I am sick. I am just trying to hold it together cause it's got to be done. I don't know where I am going from here."

Jordan says that most of her inventory never even came close to the flood water, but officials are forcing her to get rid of it all. She says that the flooding stems from a collapsed culvert that's supposed to drain water from the flood-prone area, but it has become a blame game between the cities of Sugar Creek and Independence, along with the Missouri Department of Transportation, over who is responsible for fixing it.

The culvert collapsed over three years ago.

"I am just angry at everybody right now. I mean it should never have happened in the first place," said Jordan. She says that because the inventory was lost in a flood, the loss isn't covered by her insurance.

"If I do reopen I am going to keep a very minimum stock because if they don't fix it, if it rains again, they are going to come in here and it's going to be the same thing, throw away everything in the building," said Jordan.

FOX 4 left messages for comment with the Independence City Manager, but those calls have not yet been returned.