Saskatchewan tornado stronger than thought

Environment Canada says a tornado that ravaged a Saskatchewan reserve was more powerful than first thought.

Winds estimated at 300 km/h

Environment Canada says a tornado that destroyed and damaged homes on and around a Saskatchewan reserve on Friday was more powerful than first thought.

Dave Carlsen, a meteorologist with the federal weather agency, said experts are now estimating that winds during the twister that hit the Kawacatoose First Nation southeast of Saskatoon could have exceeded 300 kilometres per hour.

That would rank it as an F3 tornado on the Fujita damage scale, which has a maximum rating of F5. Carlsen said fewer than five per cent of tornadoes in Canada are rated F3 or higher.

Previous estimates were that an F2 tornado, packing winds of up to 200 km/h, damaged dozens of homes and buildings on the reserve.

But a storm team surveying the damage said there's evidence of a more powerful twister at work, according to Carlsen. He said in one instance, a steel building was ripped off its foundation, and some of the foundation was then torn out of the ground.

There were no major injuries, but a number of people have been removed from the community, which has been declared a disaster zone.

Canada's most deadly tornado killed 28 and injured hundreds when it hit Regina on June 30, 1912.

With files from CBC News