Palm Coast residents caught off guard by EF2 tornado, no active alerts issued by NWS

Residents in one Palm Coast community are concerned after learning there was no active tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when an EF-2 tornado ripped through their neighborhood on October 12.

The early morning tornado left behind a trail of destruction – mostly in the Indian Trails neighborhood. Residents there said they were caught off guard by the violent storm.

Jackie Buck told FOX 35’s Hannah Mackenzie, she heard it coming, but that was the only warning she got.

"I’m like, ‘oh my god, it sounds like a tornado!’, so I jumped up… and as I jumped up to go to my room to seek shelter, the lights went out and things were just coming," Buck said.

It’s not Buck’s first run-in with a tornado. She said she experienced a similar scenario five years ago in the same neighborhood.

"It was three houses from me… with an oak tree coming down then, and then it went over to the other areas and a lot of damage was over there," Buck recalled.

A few doors down, Michelle Lipham was also caught off guard.

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"My dog alerted me about 4:30, 4:40," Lipham said. "He started barking, and then I heard some pops, which I think were the transformers… so that was my alert!"

On the ground for approximately six minutes, the NWS called this a "short-lived tornado". According to NWS, it reached estimated peak wind speeds of 115 miles per hour.

April Danisher and Kristie Garrett live next door to the house that was hit hardest. The only emergency notification they received came after the fact, according to Danisher.

"We actually got an alert, like an emergency extreme alert at like 8 o’clock… and this happened to us at like 4:45, so it was much later in the day," Danisher said. "There were still some clouds and scary-looking weather, but looking at the radar, it had passed."

No deaths or injuries were reported as a result of the tornado, but residents said they hope to receive emergency weather alerts in the future to allow them time to seek shelter.