SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The date was August 11, 1999, when Salt Lake City saw the unthinkable for our state — a devastating tornado that swept through the city, transforming virtually everything in its path.

Many Utahns will remember those events from 24 years ago this week and can likely recall where they were when the F2 tornado made landfall.

This tornado’s wreckage was big news around the world, with everyone from Canada to Kansas sharing the event.

In the words of ABC4 News Anchor Randall Carlisle on that fateful day: “Tornadoes aren’t supposed to touch down in Utah… But one did.”

It all started with golf-ball-sized hail dropping on surrounding cities of Salt Lake County and a dark funnel formed during the early afternoon. And in what seemed like an instant, winds became violent as a tornado moving over 113 mph touched down in Salt Lake City.

911 calls began flooding in from city residents while building debris and glass was violently hurled through the sky. The tornado swept through downtown Salt Lake City — destroying structures, power lines, and even toppling a crane hanging over the LDS Conference Center.

With the whole city seeing the havoc firsthand, the grounds at the Utah State Capitol and neighboring Avenues experienced the worst of the devastation.

In just 10 minutes, the city had reportedly lost 300 to 500 trees being ripped from their roots, and buildings like the Delta Center and Wyndham Hotel were left in ruins.

Overall, the tornado had caused over $150 million in damages, with residents returning to pick up the pieces. President Clinton and the federal government declared the city a disaster area — bringing with it much-needed funds to help crews and community volunteers in their cleanup efforts.

“The sun is shining and we’re alive,” says one resident interviewed after the dust cleared. “We can start from there.”