After accessing damage to dozens of homes in northern Flagler County, meteorologists with the National Weather Service believe an EF1 tornado with wind speeds reaching 104 mph touched down in Palm Coast on Saturday night.
When assessment teams completed their damage assessments Sunday, they reported that 171 houses were affected:
- 7 houses destroyed
- 22 houses with moderate damage
- 142 houses partially damaged
The value of the damage is estimated at $5,355,611.
Early Sunday, 51 homes were still without power and the Red Cross was setting up at Palm Coast city offices to assist anyone who needs help.
LISTEN: 911 calls report tornado
Neighbors have been flooding the streets, checking out the damage from the storm. Some who were lucky enough to have minor damage took the time to help others clean up tree limbs and other debris from their yard.
Jim Barilka was home at the time and says he saw the tornado coming straight toward him.
"I know this sounds crazy, but I stood in front of the house and I said, 'Oh no, you don't. In Jesus' name, you will not touch these houses. You will not touch my house, you will not touch my neighbors' houses. You will do no damage, you will take no human life,'" Barilka said.
City officials said the tornado was 25-75 yards wide. How long it was on the ground has yet to be determined.
"That's what's left of our pool and our backyard and we just have a couple tears in the screen," said Kiplin McGann, whose home and backyard were badly damaged.
Neighbors are now focusing their efforts on getting their homes back to normal.
McGann says his entire roof will need to be replaced, and he says he's looking for ways to help cover the costs.
"I work for Home Depot, so they have a fund there," McGann said. "I'm going to see where they can pitch in, and we go from there."
"Yeah, the wind was really whipping and I stood over by my front door and everything just started to fly, everything was vertical flying," said John O'Brien.
Michael Smith says what struck him was how his neighbors came together to help.
"I'm here for them just like they were here for me," Smith said. "Every neighbor on this block came to our house to make sure we was alright."
One of the hardest hit areas in Palm Coast is the Bayside neighborhood also known as the B section. In one home an elderly man was trapped inside his house when the roof was ripped from his home. Rescue crews found him in the yard unharmed.
Not everyone was home during the storm. Tom Musto is still in shock from what he saw when he pulled into his neighborhood Saturday night.
"We were actually about three blocks down the road and it all started with a big bang, and we started hearing sirens and we're like, 'okay, it's pretty bad somewhere,' and then we came up Belle Terre and saw cops everywhere and we turned the corner and saw my big tree on the house. Yeah, it was pretty emotional," Musto said.