Tornado Damage Assessment Underway in Central Florida City

December 18, 2013

A central Florida city has declared a state of local emergency in the wake of a tornado that destroyed seven homes and damaged more than 150 others.

The National Weather Service says the EF-1 tornado that hit Palm Coast on Saturday night had wind speeds ranging from 86 mph to 110 mph. No injuries were reported.

Tree cutters, homeowners, insurance companies and community outreach organizations have been working to clear debris, stretch tarps over missing roofs and assess the damage.

Palm Coast city spokeswoman Cindi Lane tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal that Mayor Jon Netts on Monday declared a “state of local emergency.”

Lane says that means the city may apply for state and federal aid. It also means the city can expedite permitting and debris removal and increase the number of trash pickups.

The total cost of the damage is more than $5.3 million, Lane said. The city reported seven destroyed homes, 22 partially incapacitated homes and 142 partly damaged homes.

The tornado ripped away the entire roof from Johnny Coberly’s home. He said the tornado threw him to the floor and sent pieces of plywood, insulation and other debris crashing onto him.

“It was like the highest velocity air-blower you could think of,” he said. “I thought a bomb went off.”

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