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Nearby business owners react to shopping center roof collapse Wednesday in Kimberling City, Mo.

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 2:26 PM CDT
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KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Part of a strip mall in Kimberling City is off-limits while crews add up the damage after a roof collapsed during heavy rain Wednesday morning.

The roof caved in around 9 a.m. The city inspected buildings to the left and right of the collapse. One nearby business owner says it was shocking to hear what happened.

“First of all, I’m just glad no one was in where it collapsed,” said Garrison Heating and Air owner Kylie Garrison. “It can be a scary situation, and I hope it doesn’t happen to any other businesses in the shopping center.”

Garrison says, fortunately, nothing like this has ever happened to her business.

”We haven’t seen any concerns yet, but that is pretty close to where we work, so that is a little nerve-racking being so close to where it happened,” Garrison said.

Kimberling City Public Works Manager Randy Reed says the collapse affected more than half a dozen shopping center units. Inspectors aren’t sure how badly it affected them at this time. That’s why police tape stretches along a long section of the center.

”Don’t try to walk through that to get close to the damage because we have no idea the stability,” said Reed. “That’s why we won’t allow anyone in there until it’s seen by a structural engineer.”

The area where the roof collapsed had not been in business for years. The building is old and could not withstand Wednesday’s downpours.

”Water weighs roughly eight pounds per gallon, tons of water built up, and when it did, it just all pulled into one, and that’s what caused it to fail and collapse,” Reed said.

As you drive past the shopping center, you’ll also notice windows boarded up. Reed says part of the roof came through the windows.

”That’s what caused that to burst out on the parking lot,” said Reed.

Officials inspected the businesses on the westbound side of the shopping center and said they were fine.

”I know the Funky Monkey is open; Fordland Clinic is open as well,” said Reed. “It was really just “The Taco Lady” that was affected by this.”

Officials say The Taco Lady restaurant will be back in business as soon as the structural engineer gives clearance.

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