Crews are continuing Monday to chainsaw through trees and repair downed power lines across Nova Scotia in the aftermath of powerful storm Dorian, amid widespread outages and closures, including all public schools.
More than 200,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity across the Atlantic region, and officials in Nova Scotia have warned it could be up to a week for power to be restored in some areas of the province.
“There are certain parts of Halifax that I can say, having seen it first hand, that there are some very complex restorations that need to occur,” Nova Scotia Power president Karen Hutt told CBC’s Information Morning on Monday.
“There’s some major, major tree damage.”
Dorian approached the region as a Category 2 hurricane and made landfall near Halifax on Saturday evening as a post-tropical storm with hurricane-strength winds.
The province’s South Shore and the Halifax area were most affected by outages, she said.
Nova Scotia Power, a privately owned utility, is managing its restoration plan according to the path Dorian struck, Hutt said, leaving Cape Breton Island as one of the last places in the province that will addressed.
On Monday at 6 a.m. AT, there were 211,000 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity. In other provinces, the number of customers without power at that time were:
- 21,000 in Prince Edward Island.
- 15,000 in New Brunswick.
- 1,500 in Newfoundland.
The Nova Scotia government will focus its efforts on restoring power and cellphone services on Monday, said Premier Stephen McNeil.
The networks of several cell providers have been down or intermittently working following Dorian.
Hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces staff deployed Sunday continued to help crews clearing roads and removing downed trees Monday.
N.S. schools shut, drivers told to stay off roads
Emergency management officials urged drivers to stay off the roads after snaking drive-thru lines at some of few open fast-food restaurants impeded the path of emergency vehicles on Sunday.
With many traffic lights out at major intersections, police were also warning those who did have to drive to treat those lights as a four-way stop.
Public schools across Nova Scotia are closed Monday.
After weekend ferry closures, Marine Atlantic is keeping an eye on the weather forecast in hopes of getting its crossings between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia back on track.
Dorian’s storm system is tracking more than 280 kilometres off Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula, into the North Atlantic.
The hurricane left 70,000 people in need of food and shelter and at least 44 dead when it struck the Bahamas last week. There are fears a “staggering” untold number of people died as thousands remain missing after the Category 5 hurricane pummelled the islands for two days.
The Outer Bank Islands of North Carolina were also struck by Dorian, leaving four dead.