About 70 per cent of Nova Scotia without power as Dorian slams Atlantic Canada

About 70 per cent of Nova Scotia without power as Dorian slams Atlantic Canada

More than 360,000 Nova Scotia Power customers are without electricity as Dorian moves through the region.

As of 9 p.m., the power utility reported there were 360,780 customers without electricity — roughly 70 per cent of the province. Most of the outages were caused by high winds that downed trees and heavy rain, something that's expected to continue through the night after the storm made landfall shortly after 7 p.m.

Power for most customers is expected to be restored by late Sunday night.

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, tweeted on Saturday afternoon the Canadian Armed Forces are mobilizing to deploy to assist with recovery after the storm moves through.

Dorian approached Nova Scotia as a Category 2 hurricane, but it is now a post-tropical storm.

What's happening out there

Across the province, strong winds are uprooting trees and power lines are coming down.

A crane on South Park Street — a busy roadway in downtown Halifax — snapped in several places from the power of the wind.

A roof on a building on nearby Queen Street blew off and landed on several cars.

In the water, some boats have been damaged as large waves push them against the rocky shore.

A roof was torn off of a building on Queen Street in Halifax landed on several cars on Saturday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Flooding in other areas has damaged cars.

Safety officials are warning storm watchers they are taking a chance getting close to the shoreline to capture images of Dorian.

Nova Scotia Power said crews have been out patrolling the lines, but will be called to stand down if the wind gets too strong.

"If it's unsafe for them to be out there, absolutely," said Andrea Anderson, a spokeswoman for the power utility.

Anderson said extra crews have been called in from New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec to help with more anticipated outages from the storm.

"We've been watching the storm for a number of days and for a number of days we've been getting ready," Anderson said.

Anderson said there are more than 1,000 personnel staged across Nova Scotia, including linesmen, forestry crew, damage assessors, engineers, supervisors, communications staff and customer care representatives.

If the power goes out during the storm, power customers can expect a wait if conditions are considered unsafe for service crews.

"As soon as the winds end up in the 90 km/h zone we don't want them out there," she said. "It's not safe."

Nova Scotia emergency officials advised people not to drive in the storm.

"Safety is the primary concern here, stay off the roads, listen to the public officials and their instructions," said Insp. Dustine Rodier, operational support and communications for RCMP.

Emergency officials in Halifax said flying debris — flower pots, umbrellas, patio furniture, kids toys — is a big concern with the high winds.

"In Category 1 [now Category 2] force winds, those items can become very dangerous ... things are going to go flying pretty quickly in 140-150 kilometre per hour winds," Erica Fleck of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency said.

Where to go if you need to leave home

The Halifax municipality issued a voluntary evacuation notice to residents who live in some communities along the shore.

A generic water boil advisory is in effect for people drawing drinking water from surface water sources, like lakes. If residents have questions about this advisory, call 1-800-565-1633.

The Canadian Red Cross opened shelters at noon on Saturday at the Canadian Games Centre, the Dartmouth East Community Centre, and the St. Margaret's Centre.

The MacKay and Macdonald bridges closed at 4 p.m.

A storm watcher at breakwater in Herring Cove, N.S. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Cancellations and closures

All flights in and out of the on Saturday afternoon and evening are cancelled, and some flights in and out of the are cancelled.

between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland that were originally scheduled for Saturday or Sunday morning and anticipates further cancellations on Sunday and Monday.

between Nova Scotia and P.E.I. on Sunday and expects further disruptions until at least Sunday afternoon, possibly longer.

Many businesses are closed on Saturday. For the latest cancellations, check CBC's

Meteorologists will be live

Keep up-to-date on Hurricane Dorian with , updated every day.