[GALLERY id=3656 cat=regions/saskatchewan]

The tornado that ripped through a Saskatchewan First Nation on Friday was a powerful one, chewing a path half a kilometre wide and at least 45 kilometres long, Environment Canada says.

The funnel may have been on the ground for an hour, a "fairly lengthy" period of time, said Dan Kulak, a meteorologist with the federal agency who provided an update Monday on the twister.

The tornado was initially rated as an F2 on the Fujita tornado damage scale, which has a maximum rating of F5.

Now it's been confirmed that for part of the time, it was an F3 tornado, which means winds speeds reached between 253 and 331 kilometres per hour.

"It's a rare event, but it's not an extremely rare event," Kulak said.

The twister first touched down near the town of Govan, then moved east. Several farm buildings were destroyed.

A Quonset hut close to Raymore was ripped from the ground, as were the pilings it sat on, Kulak said.

The tornado continued to the Kawacatoose First Nation, where 15 homes were destroyed and other buildings were badly damaged.

No one was seriously injured.

The storm followed weeks of heavy rain throughout the province, with parts of Saskatoon, Maple Creek and Yorkton being hit by flash floods.

Even before Friday's tornado, 72 communities had been declared disaster areas, provincial officials said Monday.

More storms were in the forecast on Monday with reports of funnel clouds being spotted in the southeast part of the province, Kulak said.