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SBA and state to assess tornado damage in Palm Coast Thursday

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Update: Story corrected Dec. 19, 2013 to show the U-S Small Business Administration, rather than FEMA, visiting Palm Coast.

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On Thursday, a task force including the U-S Small Business Administration, state and local officials will assess homes damaged in the recent Palm Coast tornado in Flagler County. Palm Coast City Communications and Marketing Manager Cindi Lane says the task force will visit each of the damaged homes, in cooperation with the City of Palm Coast, Flagler County Emergency Management and the Flagler County Property Appraiser. The report of the taskforce will help residents quality for federal programs to recover and rebuild. Residents do not have to be home when the assessment team visits, and officials added that the evaluations Thursday will be in addition to initial assessments made by the City.

Properties should be checked by owners and damage reported

Lane said property owners in the B, C and F Sections of Palm Coast should check their homes for damage, especially if they have not done so yet. She added that even if damage is considered minor, such as loss of shingles or damage from debris, it should be reported if it has not been documented by a City damage assessment team already.

Damage reports can be called into the City’s Customer Service Department at 386-986-2360.

Federal loans may be available

After the SBA and the state make their assessments Thursday, residents who are qualified may be eligible for federal low-cost loans. Lane said those loans would have to be re-paid, but could help residents start repair work before insurance payments are received.

Lane said the City initially found 171 homes damaged or destroyed in the tornado on Saturday evening, December 14. Since that time, the number has grown to 180 homes as residents returned home or discovered damage not apparent at first. Storm damage is estimated at $5,625,885.50. Of the 180 homes, seven are described as destroyed, 22 have substantial damage and 151 have partial damage.

Resources for tornado-affected residents

Flagler County Volunteer Services is providing volunteer help to tornado victims who need cleanup help or donated items. You can contact them at 386-597-2950. The Red Cross is also continuing to assist residents, and can be reached at 386-226-1400, extension 5250.

Click here to visit the City of Palm Coast website.

You can contact this writer at mroyer5@yahoo.com

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