Darkness fell at 3 p.m. on June 26.
With heat and humidity at unbearable levels for most of the day, people were looking for a break, and a little rain.
But what came was a lot more than rain.
Tornado watches were issued mid-morning by Environment Canada, causing all facilities in the Saskatoon Health Region, including those in Humboldt, to issue a Code T.
They issue a Code T as soon as a tornado watch is put out by Environment Canada, explained SHR communications specialist Linda Walker, and precautions are taken right away.
Those precautions include closing blinds and doors, pulling curtains around patients, and moving beds away from windows to ensure patient safety.
Each unit has their own protocol to follow as well, Walker said, which is appropriate to their area.
With their shades drawn, however, those inside the health care facilities in Humboldt would still have noticed the darkening skies.
By 3:20 p.m, it was dark enough downtown that streetlights came on, and very omionous looking clouds started to let down some rain.
Winds were high, and the rain fell hard. Power flickered but stayed on downtown.
An hour later, the wind and rain abated, and the clouds shifted to allow more light.
But around Humboldt, water was standing on many streets. Motorists and bikers were having trouble negotiating some of the flooded intersections, and water in some places in the south end was flooding lawns.
Things stayed quiet, except for some wind, until later in the evening.
Winds started to blow in the early evening hours, and more rain began to fall.
The winds continued through the night, and in the morning, when the winds were still blowing, trees all over the city had been knocked down.
Darrell Lessmeister of the City of Humboldt Leisure Services department said a city crew worked their entire shift on Wednesday dealing with downed trees that were obstructing sidewalks and roadways.
Seven trees were knocked down entirely, while others lost large branches.
Trees of every kind — maples, poplar, spruce — were all affected, Lessmeister said.
The city is asking that those with trees on their own property which were damaged by the storm have them reviewed. If they lost major limbs, they may be too unbalanced to be safe, he noted.
In Wednesday’s high winds, said to have reached over 110 km/h in some places, the roof of the Humboldt IGA was torn off.
The storm also tossed around grain by Peterson, knocking them over and piling them up together.
Farms by Annaheim lost huge numbers of large trees, and trees were knocked over around Humboldt’s wider region and in Watson and LeRoy, too.
Damaged cars and buildings were also being reported anecdotally.
In Englefeld, though some of the tin blew off the roof of Koenders Manufacturing, the damage was not as bad as the rumour mill had suggested, Colin Tamme of Koenders reported.
“Some tin peeled off,” he said, but they still have their roof, and the business remained in full production.
“It looks bad, but we just need new tin,” he noted.
Main Street in Englefeld was blocked off for part of the day on Wednesday, Tamme said, as a precaution.
“We were concerned if there was tin blowing around. We didn’t want it to hit vehicles.”
It worked, as there was no additional damage to anything other than the roof of the building. No trees were even knocked down in Englefeld, the village office reported.