HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Canadian soldiers armed with chain saws fanned out across Halifax and the surrounding communities Monday to help clean up the tangled mess of fallen trees and power lines left behind by post-tropical cyclone Dorian.
Their high-profile deployment was part of a wider effort to deal with power outages that left much of Atlantic Canada in the dark for two days.
Utility companies in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were working to restore power to half a million customers.
Almost 200,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity Monday afternoon in Nova Scotia after a peak of about 400,000 were out Saturday.
No deaths from the storm were reported.
About 300 soldiers from New Brunswick were brought in to help with the cleanup, and another 400 were on standby.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, resident Sherri MacDonald said she and her neighbors were grateful for the army’s assistance.
“People can’t get to work. The power is out. Lines are down. Trees are blocking the way. I know that lots of folks had damage to their cars and their houses,” MacDonald said.
Many schools across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were closed Monday. Emergency officials urged people to stay home to give cleanup crews the room they need to work.
In New Brunswick, more than 80,000 homes and businesses were without electricity at the peak of the storm on Saturday. NB Power spokesman Marc Belliveau said that number had been reduced to about 10,000 by midday Monday, and he expected most of those would be reconnected by Monday night.
On Prince Edward Island, Maritime Electric some customers may be without power until the end of the week.
Meanwhile, many marinas around the Maritimes were left battered by Dorian’s storm surges.
Boat owners at the Shediac Bay Yacht Club in New Brunswick were assessing damage after strong winds and waves tossed boats around like toys.
“This is the worst we have ever seen,” said Gilles Brine, a member of the club’s executive.
“There are three boats that are on the rocks from the marina side, and on the slip side, there are about 20 boats that are on top of each other.”