Building have been damaged but no one was hurt Monday evening after a tornado passed near Pittsburg in southeast Kansas.
The National Weather Service office in Springfield, Mo., reported three tornadoes near the town.
The first reported tornado touched down at around 4:20 p.m. about 3 miles north of Carona, the weather service states in a local storm report. A second reported tornado touched down about three minutes later about 3 miles southeast of Chicopee. A third reported tornado touched down at around 4:36 p.m. about 5 miles south of Mindenmines, just across the state line in Missouri.
Crawford County Emergency Manager Jason Vanbecelaere told The Eagle that one of the tornadoes passed about a half of a miles south of Pittsburg, damaging outbuildings and other structures in the rural area outside of the city. Reported wind damage to buildings at Pittsburg State University was not directly caused by the tornado, he said. A damage assessment is ongoing.
No injuries were reported as of about 7 p.m., Vanbecelaere said.
At that time, Westar Energy reported 69 power outages in the Pittsburg area affecting more than 1,000 customers.
The tornado that damaged building near Pittsburg touched down around 180th Street and U.S. 400 east of Cherokee and tracked northeast toward 270th Street and 530th Avenue east of Pittsburg, said Sarah Runyon, a spokeswoman for the city of Pittsburg. That’s a distance of about 8.5 miles.
“Damage reported includes damage to outbuildings and secondary structures, shingles blown off houses, wind damage, large trees down, and downed power lines,” she said in a news release. “Westar Energy is responding to downed power lines and addressing power outages.”
Search and rescue crews with local first responders are checking residences.
“Residents should stay away from Langdon Lane and the surrounding area effected,” Runyon said. “Current weather hazards include downed power lines, debris, lightning and heavy rain. More weather risks are headed our way with a second round of thunderstorms in the forecast for this evening.”
The Pittsburg Police Department reported that most of the wind damage from the storm was south of Quincy Street. That area includes Pitt State and the southern portion of the town. The department also warned people to avoid driving.
“We had an officer get struck in their patrol car and had to be transported to the hospital for possible injuries,” police said in a Facebook post. “Please please stay off the roads if you don’t have to be out.”
In neighboring Cherokee County, the sheriff’s office reported damage in the northern part of the county after a round of afternoon storms.
“We ask people resist the temptation to see the damage and stay out of the impacted areas,” Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said in a tweet. “Crews need to be able to work safely to get things back to normal.”
Photos and videos of storms and damage can be submitted to The Eagle online at www.kansas.com/customer-service/submit-photo/.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.