Federal officials tour damage from tornado in Palm Coast

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FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV reporter Steve Barret was with federal officials Thursday as they toured the damage from an EF1 tornado in Palm Coast.

Agents visited each of the more than 100 homes affected by last weekend's tornado.

"If you ask me, I'd say we met that threshold a long time ago, but I'm not the one that makes that decision, so we brought the professionals in. The people at state and federal level, we're going to let them make that determination," said Chief Mike Beadle of The Palm Coast Fire Department.

Homeowners could get low interest loans to help with repairs, and that could help get repairs started. But that will not help in some cases, such as homes that will need to be rebuilt instead of repaired.

"The adjuster said we have over $100,000 worth of damage; the roof inside, wood floors, windows, siding, everything, " said Suzanne Bispo.

Federal investigators fanned out across the city of Palm Coast to assess each damaged home in the wake of Saturday's tornado.

The damage is already estimated at $5.6 million, but that number could grow.

In all, 180 homes have been damaged or destroyed in the city.

John Coberly's home is one of seven houses destroyed by the twister.

"Sad, but it's only little things I got out with, only a little scrape on my elbow and a sore back where things were dropping on me," said Coberly.

Some homeowners could be eligible for federal loans to help jump-start their repairs even before insurance companies cut checks.

City officials said now is the time for residents to closely examine their homes to make sure they do not have damage that was not noticed immediately after the storm.