An apparent tornado touched down south of Pittsburg late Monday afternoon, although it was unclear if the damage to the south end of town was a result of the twister or straight line winds.
According to a release from the City of Pittsburg, the tornado touched down south of Pittsburg, taking a path from 180th and 400 HWY in Cherokee, KS, and moving northeast toward 270th and 530th Ave. east of Pittsburg. No injuries have been reported at this time.
Damage reported includes damage to outbuildings and secondary structures, shingles blown off houses, wind damage, large trees down, and downed power lines. Westar Energy is responding to downed power lines and addressing power outages.
Search and rescue crews have been activated. Local first responders are checking residences to make sure everyone is accounted for. Anyone needing to locate loved ones or report missing residents should call (620) 230-5625.
Residents should stay away from Langdon Lane and the surrounding area effected. Current weather hazards include downed power lines, debris, lightening and heavy rain. More weather risks are headed our way with a second round of thunderstorms in the forecast for this evening.
Pictures posted to the Morning Sun Facebook page by readers indicate there was extensive damage to Cobb Lumber on Langdon Lane, trees and power lines down across the county and roof damage to Grubbs Hall on the Pittsburg State University campus.
The damage was confirmed by PSU Spokeswoman Andra Bryan Stefanoni via text message.
"Roof damage is visible form the exterior of Grubbs hall, home to the communications, English and foreign language departments following the storm that came through just after 4 p.m.(Monday)," Stefanoni said. "It's unknown at this time what the extent of the damage is. The university will release additional information as it is known.
"Some buildings were also without power but it has been restored."
Further to the south in Cherokee County, Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Jason Allison indicated that there was heavy damage to trees and power lines in the Scammon and Weir area. Allison said many county roads were blocked or impassible.
The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri, has issued a tornado watch until 1 a.m. and more severe weather is forecast for Tuesday.
Editor's Note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.