TORONTO – The storm that already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina lashed at far-eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds for much of Sunday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people before beginning to weaken late in the day.
Dorian hit near the city of Halifax Saturday afternoon, ripping roofs off apartment buildings, toppling a huge construction crane and uprooting trees. There were no reported deaths in Canada, though the storm was blamed for at least 50 elsewhere along its path.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the post-tropical cyclone was centered about 25 miles east-northeast of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, on Sunday night. Its top sustained winds had fallen to 60 mph, after being above the 74 mph threshold of hurricane force earlier in the day. It was heading to the northeast, roughly up the St. Lawrence River, at 23 mph.
The storm swept over northwestern Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador during the afternoon and began moving out over the North Atlantic in the evening.
Nova Scotia officials asked people in the province to stay off the roads so crews could safety remove trees and debris and restore power.
The government said up to 700 Canadian troops would be fanning out across the Maritimes to help restore electricity, clear roadways and evacuate residents in flooded areas
Nova Scotia Power Inc. chief executive Karen Hutt said over 400,000 Nova Scotia Power customers lost power at the peak of the storm and 50,000 had since been restored. About 80% of Nova Scotia’s homes and businesses were blacked out – the highest in the company’s history. Hutt said some customers could remain without service for days.
On Prince Edward Island, about 75% of homes and businesses had no electricity by Sunday afternoon, according to the province’s Public Safety Department.
Widespread blackouts affecting up to 80,000 NB Power customers were reported in southern New Brunswick.
By far the greatest devastation caused by the storm was in the Bahamas, where Dorian struck a week ago as a Category 5 hurricane with 185 mph winds, and then hovered just offshore for more than a day and a half, obliterating thousands of homes.
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