Environment Canada meteorologists are calling this tornado “extraordinary,” not only because of the trail of damage it left behind, but also because it was on the ground for more than two and a half hours, and they say that kind of endurance in a tornado is rare.

Storm chasers from across the continent gathered in Manitoba for a chance to see a large wedge tornado.

People who saw the storm bearing down on their homes only watched briefly before seeking shelter in their basements.

“A lot of wind, a lot of noise, dark green skies,” said Ken Derkach.

Derkach went out to survey the damage in the morning and found about 15 trees down around his home near Virden, including one right across the roof. Other farms were hit worse.

A pair of farms near Tilston bore the brunt of the storm damage.

The tornado flipped a semi-trailer on its side and destroyed this family's chicken coop, drawing a few hundred birds into the air never to be seen again.

"Why it couldn't of gone just a half mile north and it could've missed both our place and Rick's place. But it didn't. It came where it came. Nothing we can do about it,” said Fred Raynor.

Down the street from the farm, crews work to repair downed lines and replace two and a half kilometres of poles that simply disappeared in the wind.

Manitoba Hydro said they don’t know where those poles ended up.

Gord Allison lost dozens of trees, some uprooted, others snapped like twigs.

"We'd already seen on the Internet that Tilston had some damage. We were just wondering if that was our path by radar. You just didn't know if it was going to hit you or not. Hopefully it doesn't...but we got it,” said Gord Allison.

Despite this twister being on the ground for two and a half hours and covering a lot of ground , it didn’t hit populated areas.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported, just frayed nerves as people rode it out in the safety of their basements.

Manitoba Hydro hopes to have the lights back on for all remaining customers sometime tonight or tomorrow.