Clean up continues after tornado rips through Palm Coast



PALM COAST, Fla. - Residents in Palm Coast are still cleaning up after a tornado ripped through the area Saturday evening, damaging dozens of homes and leaving hundreds without power.

The National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF1 tornado that touched down in Palm Coast Saturday night, leaving a path of damage in its wake.

The EF1 had winds as high as 110 mph and was 25-75 yards wide. The length of the tornado has yet to be determined.

Joe LaPlante said he heard the sound of a train coming and fled his porch with a friend, moments before the tornado ripped through.

"I felt the change in the temperature. I felt the pressure change and at the point I’d been through that something before and let’s get back in the house, and we got about a third into the house when all hell broke loose," said LaPlante.

 City officials said a total of 171 homes were damaged, with seven being destroyed. About 22 homes suffered moderate damage and 141 were partially damaged, officials said.

The value of the overall damage is estimated at over $5 million.

"I defintely have roof damage, I have landscape damage, a crack in my driveway and I don't know where that came from, wasn't there before," homeowner Elise Mikhail said.

Storms started about 7 a.m. Saturday and continued through the evening, officials said.

A tornado warning was issued at 6:56 p.m., and Flagler County Emergency Management issued a Code Red warning at 6:58 p.m.

The first call reporting the tornado came in to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office about 7 p.m.

Officials said the heaviest damage happened to homes and property in the B Section in the Indian Trails neighborhood, but damage was also reported in the C Section and F Section of the neighborhood.

No injuries were reported.

"It went through just as quickly as it came in, like it was probably 10 seconds, a rumble and then it was gone," said resident Summer Kleinfelder.

In the end, the area was left with damaged homes, fallen trees, downed power lines and several roads closures.

"Very scary, very scary, especially by the time I heard it," said Kleinfelder. "There was not really any time to do anything."

Florida Power and Light reported close to 3,000 homes were without power late Saturday night. As of Sunday night, power had been restored to all homes in the area.

Roads have been reopened. The public is asked to stay away from damaged areas unless they live there.

The American Red Cross is serving the city in areas where needed, providing food and shelter assistance.