Tornado touchdown confirmed in Pittsburg: "It was pretty devastating"

Tornado touchdown confirmed in Pittsburg: "It was pretty devastating"

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that the storm in Pittsburg Sunday afternoon was primarily a straight-line wind event combined with a "weak" EF-0 tornado involving winds up to 75 miles per hour.

People all over Pittsburg saw the funnel cloud around 3:40pm. Parker Metal and Hardware took the brunt of the storm.

"The sheriff's department called us a little before 4:00 and said we had a roof blown off the building," owner Mark Parker said. "Had no idea it was this bad. Thought it was a storage building or something."

Parker arrived Sunday afternoon to survey the damage. Then he went inside.

"It looks worse than the outside," he said.

In there everything is wet. Out front it looks like a giant fist punched in the front doors.

Didn't believe what I was seeing really," Parker said.

In the back, industrial doors were ripped from their tracks, a shed was demolished and a smaller one blown into the field next door. But most of the damage wasn't from the tornado.

"We saw some pretty significant damage from what we determined to be straight-winds," National Weather Service Shreveport Meteorologist in Charge Mario Valverde said. "[That was] the damage pattern."

Across the street First National Bank's sign flew out of its frame. That's where Valverde's team realized there was also a weak tornado.

"We also then were shown a video of what we determined to be a wake vortex coming through the bank parking lot," Valverde said. "From the video it did look like it picked up some of the metal roofing material and spread that around some more."

All day people were coming by Parker's just to see what 25 years of service looks like when it's been to hell and back. It was clear that the store meant a lot to people.

"Maybe we'll get it back together one day," Parker said.


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