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VIDEO: Dorian leaves thousands without power in Truro region


... but crews are rapidly restoring electricity in storm's wake

TRURO, N.S. —

Dorian's charge across Colchester County left scores without power and technicians racing to restore service.

More than 1,100 customers are without electricity in an area stretching west from Truro towards Maitland and Noel, according to Nova Scotia Power's latest numbers. Hundreds more customers in Truro itself are also without any service after Dorian swept in on Sept. 7.

"There is no question that this storm has had an incredible impact on the province and its power system," said NS Power's CEO Karen Hutt in Halifax on Sept. 8. "This storm has led to the largest mobilization of personnel in our company's history."

Hutt said NS Power pre-positioned crews in communities likely to be affected by Dorian ahead of time. Once it was safe to do so, crews in trucks started assessing damage and making repairs. 

She also urged people to stay away from downed power lines and call 911, so NS Power can send technicians to make them safe.

"Please don't take any chances at all," said Hutt.

Roughly 400,000 Nova Scotians were left without power as Dorian crossed the province. As of the afternoon of Sept. 8, the total number is just over 300,000, as crews work to restore electricity.

MLA and federal election candidate Lenore Zann said people still without power can charge up their devices at her campaign office, located at 128 Esplanade Street in Truro.

However, storm damage in Truro was otherwise relatively light. Only one large tree was seen downed, by the Truro Armoury.

Traffic returned to the roads Sunday and vehicles were seen leaving the Tim Horton's on Willow Street. Other stores and restaurants are steadily reopening.

No blocked roads were reported in Colchester County, despite the high winds and heavy rain that battered the region. 

Dorian was upgraded to a Category 2 storm by the U.S. National Hurricane Center, but was later reclassified as an intense post-tropical storm. 

"The weather builds pretty heavily ahead of the eye, so you're going to get some pretty heavy downpours and strong wind gusts that build in about three hours before the centre is overhead," said SaltWire meteorologist Cindy Day on Sept. 7.

As a post-tropical storm, Dorian no longer had a warm core but still retained many characteristics of a hurricane, such as dangerous winds and torrential rain.

It made landfall near Sambro Creek, 25 km from Halifax, at 6:15 p.m. with sustained winds of 155 km/h.

Most public events were cancelled and stores and restaurants in Truro closed early ahead of Dorian's arrival. There were long lines in supermarkets on Friday as people stocked up with supplies for the storm.

However, a few hardy souls braved the rain and wind at Truro's Fundy Discovery Centre on Sept. 7.

"[It's] just the raw power of nature," said Rob Teale, from Truro. "The energy that's there is something that we need to recharge ourselves with every now and then."

Dorian weakened somewhat as it moved across Nova Scotia towards Prince Edward Island. The southern portion of Colchester County was previously under a hurricane warning. The regions north of Truro towards Amherst were under a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm has winds of 63-118 km/hr.

"A lot of people are comparing this to Juan, which made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of about 160 km/hr," said Day. "It crossed north over to the tip of P.E.I. as a Category 1 storm. This is not as tightly-wound of a system."

As Dorian weakens, its forward speed increased, meaning it only remained over Truro for a relatively short time.

By mid-morning on Sept. 8, the sun was back out.

Be storm safe

Day advised people in Dorian's path to take the following precautions:

1. Keep candles, batteries and flashlights at hand for power outages.

2. Stock enough food and water for at least 72 hours. People should also keep any medication they may need at hand.

3. All outdoor furniture such as lawn chairs and other loose items must be packed away, as they can be moved by strong winds.

4. People using water wells should draw extra supplies and keep it in bathtubs. This can be used to flush toilets, among other things.

5. People should keep an eye out for their neighbours and any seniors or people with mobility issues they may know.

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