PITTSBURG — On Sunday, a storm blew across Crawford County.

Pittsburg residents notification systems on their cell phones warned of a tornado and they were told to “take shelter now.”

However, in Pittsburg, no sirens sounded.

“Radar is incredibly advanced and the desire to prepare the public to prevent loss of life is tremendous,” Pittsburg Public Information Director Sarah Runyon said. “While the conditions and radar reading were enough for the National Weather Service to broadcast a tornado warning for the Crawford County area, Pittsburg staff could not justify using the sirens as we could not confirm a tornado inside the city limits.”

Runyon said in the release city staff works with the information provided by meteorologists and then determines the threat to the public. Spotters from police departments and emergency service agencies then take the appropriate action per jurisdiction.

“Sunday was a good example,” Runyon said in the release. “We do not want to desensitize the public to the sirens.

“There is a widespread disregard for storm sirens, especially when they are engaged too often.

“We want our citizens to know that if they hear the siren, there is a confirmed tornado sighting in the city limits and anyone outdoors should move inside and take shelter immediately.”
According to the release, there are 13 storm sirens in Pittsburg and the sirens are for outdoor notification only.

“Citizens should be proactive and stay connected to the National Weather Service, local news media, and radio for up-to-date weather alerts leading up to and during a severe weather event,” Runyon said. “We also recommend the Crawford County Code RED phone app, which sends updates from the National Weather Service straight to your mobile device.”

Crawford County Code RED is free and can be located on the Crawford County website at  www.crawfordcountykansas.org.