Nova Scotia

Recovery begins across Maritimes after Hurricane Dorian lashes region

The Maritimes are recovering from Hurricane Dorian, which approached the region as a Category 2 hurricane on Saturday, downing trees, power lines and a giant construction crane in Halifax. 

Military to aid effort to restore power to more than 369,000 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity

Cleanup efforts will begin Sunday after Hurricane Dorian swept through the Maritimes on Saturday. (Stephanie Blanchet/CBC)

The Maritimes are recovering from Hurricane Dorian, which approached the region as a Category 2 hurricane on Saturday, downing trees, power lines and a giant construction crane in Halifax

More than 369,000 Nova Scotia Power customers are without electricity after Dorian swept through the region with winds up to 145 km/h. More than 55,000 customers in New Brunswick and 50,000 in Prince Edward Island are without power.

The storm is now classified as a post-tropical cyclone and centred near Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as of 6 a.m. local time.

"It was a very powerful weather event," said Paul Mason, executive director of the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.

"It's moved off now and especially with daylight hours approaching, we'll move into the recovery phase of the event."

Several cellphone networks were also impacted by the storm, leaving some without service, said Mason.

Restoring power is the first priority for the office, he said. 

Approximately 300 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are preparing to deploy in the Halifax Regional Municipality Sunday afternoon, said Rear Admiral Craig Baines, commander of Joint Task Force Atlantic.

As many as 400 more are ready to be deployed when needed, he said. 

Military staff will help clear roads so power crews can begin their work. 

The Department of Labour will investigate a construction crane that collapsed into a building under construction in downtown Halifax Saturday, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella said. No one was hurt in the incident and a stop work order is in place.

Police will await the outcome of the department's recommendations. 

Many hospitals in Nova Scotia are operating on power generators, said Nova Scotia Health Authority spokesperson Krista Wood. 

Nova Scotia Power crews have not yet fully assessed the damage, said spokesperson Andrea Anderson on Sunday.

The power utility will be restoring power at hospitals and assisted living facilities first, said Anderson. Larger restorations will follow, she said. 

Anderson said they had 1,000 crews on the ground.

At the peak of the storm, 400,000 customers lost power, more than any other storm in Nova Scotia Power's history, she said. 

"We're getting first eyes on damage, and there is a lot of work ahead of us," said Nova Scotia Power president Karen Hutt.

"At this time, we are putting broad restoration times in place and, importantly, as our damage assessment teams are able assess work requirements and our power line technicians progress with restorations, repair times will be updated.

"As the day unfolds, we will have a better picture of the damage Dorian has caused.

"At this time, we expect the full restoration effort to extend over the course of this week."

Post Tropical Cyclone Dorian's path on Sunday. (CBC)

Halifax city officials asked residents to stay off the roads for non-essential travel while work crews clean up trees and debris. Halifax Metro Transit suspended all bus and ferry service on Sunday and will provide an update later in the day whether service will resume on Monday. 

Although there are some road closures in the province, Mark Peachey, executive director of maintenance and operations for the Transportation Department, said the majority of those are due to downed trees or power lines.

Peachey estimated there are about six washed-out roads on the South Shore and in the Annapolis Valley, but said roads mostly did well in the storm.

"Generally speaking overall, the roads have withstood the magnitude of the storm quite well," he told a news conference.

Peachey said provincial ferries are operating as normal across Nova Scotia.

Hurricane warnings persist for Cape Breton.

Winds are expected to gust up to 110 km/h Sunday morning, said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin. 

Storm surge warnings are active for Prince Edward Island, Antigonish and Inverness counties.

There were no reported injuries after the storm swept through the region.

More than 150 people used shelters Saturday night set up for the storm in the Halifax area, said the Canadian Red Cross. 

The three shelters — in the Canada Games Centre, St. Margarets Centre and the Dartmouth East Community Centre — will remain open on Sunday night, Halifax Regional Municipality officials said. 

Many trees fell across the region, downing power lines. (Michael Gorman/CBC)

Keep up-to-date on Hurricane Dorian with the CBC Maritimes live weather blog, updated every day.

With files from Michael Gorman and Tina Simpkin