Hundreds of thousands without power as Dorian hits Nova Scotia
Hundreds of thousands of people are without power in Nova Scotia as Dorian made landfall on Saturday.
Many communities within the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) are currently affected by the outages, with Nova Scotia Power attributing the cause to high winds, rain and damaged power lines.
Around 400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were off the grid as of Saturday night, and in New Brunswick, more than 64,000 households and businesses lost power, most in the southern reaches of the province.
Peter Andrews, deputy chief of operations for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, said at a news conference Saturday evening that there have been no reports of significant injuries or deaths so far.
The winds have caused damage, though — including uprooting trees, blowing off part of a roof and causing a construction crane to collapse.
WATCH: Video captures moment crane collapses in downtown Halifax during storm
Here’s the section of roof that flew 70 yards or so onto Queen Street pic.twitter.com/ZxvBNLbfX9
— Jesse Thomas (@jessethomas21) September 7, 2019
Though Dorian was a Category 2 hurricane as it approached Atlantic Canada, the storm made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone at 7:15 p.m. ADT, according to Environment Canada.
Bob Robichaud, warning preparedness meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said though the storm has changed structure, the cyclone designation says “nothing about” its intensity.
“We’re still talking about a very dangerous storm that is transiting through the Maritimes,” he said.
WATCH: Halifax officials provide an update on Dorian
Dorian, which made landfall southwest of Halifax on the Chebucto Peninsula between Terence Bay and Sambro, has brought sustained winds of nearly 150 km/h.
Paul Mason of Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office said the province will continue to face the storm into Sunday morning.
“This weather system is ongoing,” he said. “…We’d really encourage everyone to exercise caution with regards to staying away from water areas such as the coast.”
Officials said earlier that the high-risk zones include the Sambro area, Peggy’s Cove and along the province’s Eastern Shore, which extends east of Halifax.
WATCH: Storm blows through Nova Scotia downing trees and flooding roads
“We are looking at closing the roads to Peggy’s Cove and Lawrencetown,” said Erica Fleck, assistant chief with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency.
As of 8:42 p.m. ADT, hurricane warnings are in effect for central and eastern Nova’s Scotia as well as the south shore, plus western Newfoundland. Watches are in place for eastern P.E.I. and the Magdalen Islands.
12 metre or 39ft waves at that yellow dot along Hurricane Dorians path. pic.twitter.com/hmVkxzjV0B
— Anthony Farnell (@AnthonyFarnell) September 7, 2019
Southeastern New Brunswick, P.E.I., western and northern Nova Scotia, parts of northern and southwestern Newfoundland, the Magdalen Islands and parts of Quebec’s Lower North Shore are under tropical storm warnings.
The storm’s centre is expected to track northeast Saturday night, first toward P.E.I. around midnight, then across the Gulf to Newfoundland’s west coast by morning, Environment Canada said.
Surge report = Stoney Beach waves are rolling in one after the other with extreme wind speeds picking up. pic.twitter.com/ck8z2t9zGQ
— Alexa MacLean (@AlexaMacLean902) September 7, 2019
The latest forecasts predict high winds, considerable rainfall, and significant storm surges. Waves are expected to reach heights of 15 metres, which could create dangerous conditions for residents living near the water.
As a result, HRM urged residents living along the shoreline of the municipality to consider other accommodations until Hurricane Dorian exits the region.
HRM said in a media release earlier on Saturday that those responsible for construction sites and other outdoor work spaces where significant debris may be present are urged to ensure their sites are clear of loose debris that could create a public safety concern.
In addition, the largest threat to homes and property is flying debris. HRM is asking residents to move umbrellas and patio furniture inside and remove anything that high winds could pick up, such as garbage containers/bags, flower pots, and toys.
Fleck said it is critical for citizens to call 311 to report on falling trees or flying debris.
WATCH: Global News coverage as Hurricane Dorian bears down on Atlantic Canada
“We still have crews on the road to clear trees as soon as possible and we want to get those out of the way for the safety of our citizens and the safety of our crews that are on the road,” she said.
“We’re very concerned about the safety of our citizens about debris flying which it will, with [winds expected to hit] between 140 and 150 km/hr. And again we want people to stay inside.”
WATCH: Survivors in Bahamas search rubble for what’s left
Employers were urged to close early before 5 p.m. to allow employees enough time to return home before weather conditions worsened.
In preparation for Dorian’s arrival, several services were cancelled, including Halifax Transit.
The Red Cross opened three evacuation shelters to accommodate residents who are unable to find other accommodations, especially those in high-risk zones.
WATCH: Nova Scotia officials say they expect weather to deteriorate as Hurricane Dorian approaches
The shelters are located at the Dartmouth East Community Centre, Canada Games Centre and St. Margaret’s Centre.
“We are prepared for 60 people in each location,” said Ancel Langille, senior manager of emergency management programs at Atlantic Region Canadian Red Cross.
Residents were warned to prepare for extended power outages and flooding – which means stocking up on food, water and gasoline.
Long lineups were reported Friday at Halifax-area gas stations and grocery stores.
WATCH: Residents stocking on water, food and other necessities in preparation for Dorian
Several flights have been either delayed or cancelled as a result of the storm. The Halifax Stanfield International Airport is urging travellers to check their flights before departing.
The MacKay and Macdonald bridges are closed.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, said in a tweet that Nova Scotia has requested help from the feds with hurricane Dorian, and now the Canadian Armed Forces are mobilizing to deploy to assist with recovery.
-With files from The Canadian Press
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