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Flagler County releases 911 calls of tornado survivors

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Updated: 12/16/2013 9:17 am
PALM COAST, Fla. -- The Flagler County Sheriff's Office says between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. it received 600 emergency calls -- roughly three times the normal call volume.

Most of the damage is an area known as section B. Some homes on Bannerwood Lane look like they were hit by a bulldozer, while others suffered minor damage.

Gerald LaPlante and a friend were sitting in his porch when the EF1 tornado came roaring through.

"We got no further than my stereo when that tree from my neighbor's house came right through the screen," said LaPlante.

LaPlante rode out the storm in his bathroom. After it passed he found two trees smashed through his roof; his back porch was also destroyed.

"We knew something came through the house. I wasn't sure how much of the house was left," said LaPlante.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office says it was flooded with 911 calls, with many people in shock:

Dispatcher: Flagler County 911 what's your emergency?

Caller: We're fine but a tornado just hit our house.

Other calls sounded panicked:

Dispatcher: Are you OK?

Caller: I rolled up the street a little bit ago and I'm in the parking lot but I'm scared.

Debris still covers much of the street, tree limbs are scattered everywhere but in the aftermath this community has come together -- even children pitched in.

LaPlante says that kind of attitude is common in his town, he's just thankful no one was hurt.

"We've got to make sure everyone is OK, that's the main thing," said LaPlante.

Palm Coast city leaders say seven homes were destroyed and about 164 homes were moderately to partially damaged. The estimated cost of the damage is more than $5 million.

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