Crane toppled, roofs fly, strong storm surge as Dorian hits Atlantic Canada

Canada World

Hurricane Dorian lashed Nova Scotia on Saturday, as trees tumbled onto cars, roofs were blown off and a massive crane toppled onto an under-construction building amid powerful winds and torrential rain.

On South Park Street in downtown Halifax, a construction crane collapsed onto a building under construction and cracked in half as it hit.

Fatema Ali, 22, said she was watched from a large window in her bachelor apartment as the large yellow crane across the street teetered in the wind.

Nova Scotia is being battered by strong winds and heavy rain as Hurricane Dorian arrives in the province. 1:16

“I was so shocked,” said Ali, who caught the dramatic scene on video. “My hands were shaking.”

Ali said she was thankful the crane did not fall onto a nearby building that was occupied. She said the incident was very upsetting.

“I’m glad that nothing happened to anyone,” said Ali. “I was telling people that this should have been removed before the hurricane. Even if people were walking around, you never know, something could have happened.”

A crane on South Park Street in Halifax toppled onto a building under construction. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Halifax police confirmed there were no injuries.

A roof on a building on nearby Queen Street blew off in one large section and landed on several cars.

Dorian was leaving a path of destruction as it blew through Nova Scotia on Saturday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Stephen Brown hunkered down in his home in Halifax’s north end as winds started to pick up. He received a message around 2:30 p.m. from a neighbour saying there was a 10-metre tree lying across his pickup truck.

“It has literally gone right through the truck,” said Brown, 51, adding that the tree landed across the bed of his company’s truck, narrowing missing the cabin.

“It’s kind of scary because what we’re hearing is that the wind is going to continue to build for at least another three or four hours … If trees are coming down at the early part of the storm, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen as we get through it.”

The bed of Stephen Brown’s pickup truck was crushed by a tree Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Dorian blew into Nova Scotia (Submitted by Stephen Brown)

Boats were smashing against the shoreline in many coastal areas of the province.

In Herring Cove, N.S., waves that were pounding against a breakwater appeared to be reaching 15 metres. People who live in the area said they had never seen a storm surge like the one Dorian is bringing.

There were also fears in that community that the breakwater would not hold. Herring Cove was also hit hard by Hurricane Juan in 2003.

Trees, branches and other debris could be seen scattered across roadways throughout the Halifax region.

Nearly 347,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without power by 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Nova Scotia RCMP said road conditions were deteriorating throughout Nova Scotia.

Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said people should avoid going out on the road during the storm.

“We’re seeing debris on the roads, water pooling on the roads making driving conditions particular hazardous,” Clarke said.

Boats take a beating along the waterfront in Halifax as Hurricane Dorian approaches on Saturday. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Clarke said for the most part, people appear to be staying at home. But she said RCMP have had to send officers up to Peggys Cove, N.S. ⁠— a popular tourist attraction ⁠— to deal with storm watchers.

“Conditions are fairly dangerous down there, even just on the roadway approaching Peggys Cove,” said Clarke.

“We’re asking people to avoid that, and again just asking people to stay home where you’re safe. Hopefully this will be over fairly soon.”

Follow the live weather blog

Keep up-to-date on Hurricane Dorian with the CBC Maritimes live weather blog, updated every day.

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