DORIAN STRIKES CANADA: Knocks out power, downs a crane on Atlantic coast

DORIAN STRIKES CANADA: Knocks out power, downs a crane on Atlantic coast

DORIAN STRIKES CANADA: Knocks out power, downs a crane on Atlantic coast

More than 400,000 people are without electricity across the Maritimes this morning as post-tropical storm Dorian left behind a tangled mess of splintered trees and downed power lines before moving on to western Newfoundland.

Dorian was downgraded to a post-tropical storm as it made landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday evening, but wind speeds still reached 150km/h (93mph), similar in intensity to a category 2 hurricane.

Halifax resident Karla Sonnichsen said she chose to wait out the storm at her parents' house in Dartmouth, where Dorian proceeded to push over trees and rip apart her father's shed.

As of 9 a.m. Sunday, there were over 380,000 customers in Nova Scotia and 54,000 in New Brunswick without power, as restoration efforts began around the region.

In Prince Edward Island, about 50,000 homes and businesses were without power a few hours later, as were another 74,000 in New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia Power says the storm is the largest weather event the utility has ever responded to and that one-thousand personnel are ready to restore power - as soon as it's safe for them to do so.

Floodwaters are receding on North Carolina's Ocracoke Island after Dorian hit, easing concerns for people stuck in their homes for most of the day.

In New Brunswick, more than 80,000 homes and businesses were without electricity at the peak of the storm on Saturday.

While the intensity of the storm was nothing like the category 5 hurricane that devastated the Bahamas last week, the widespread damage nonetheless left emergency crews scrambling throughout the collection of Maritime provinces.

The powerful storm, which killed 43 people in the Bahamas and ravaged USA coastlines earlier this week, landed near Halifax Saturday evening, bringing with it intense winds, high waves and torrential rain. The loss of its hurricane status refers to the fact that it no longer has a warm core, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman explained, but Dorian is still a low-pressure system.

Earlier in the day, three of the Canadian Army's light armoured vehicles were dispatched to a neighbourhood on the east side of Halifax harbour, where Lt. Gabriel Picard was tasked with removing a large maple tree blocking a residential street. Lines are down. Trees are blocking the way.

"The damage is widespread, so you might have one area where there are several hundred people that can be re-energized with one fix", he said. "This storm was intense" and it will be "days not hours" before power is restored to everyone.

Boat owners at the Shediac Bay Yacht Club in New Brunswick were assessing damage Monday after the high winds and waves tossed boats around like toys.

Brine said waves were crashing over the breakwater around the marina at the height of the storm.

In Nova Scotia, residents were being warned to be careful when using generators. Karen Hutt, CEO of Nova Scotia Power, said a clean-up plan is already in the works.

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