Maritime emergency officials preparing for Dorian's worst
As Hurricane Dorian continues its trek up the East Coast, plans are underway to minimize its potential impact on the Maritime region.
Emergency responders say they're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst – and that work is well underway.
After battering the Bahamas and causing massive destruction, Hurricane Dorian is being watched as it approaches the Maritimes.
"If the track moves slightly inwards, then we are expecting more damage and it could be catastrophic if it were to fully hit us," said Erica Fleck, Halifax's division chief for emergency management.
At HRM's emergency operations centre, preparations are underway to ensure everyone stays safe.
"What we are preparing for is large-scale power outages, downed trees, power lines, that could stop emergency responders from going into communities and responding to any significant event, so we need to be prepared for that," Fleck said. "Hence the chainsaws, generators to make sure we can quickly remove debris from roads so that emergency responders can get into those communities."
Officials warn that getting around could be dangerous.
"We never encourage risky behavior, whether that's kayaking in the middle of a flood, chasing a storm, standing outside in high winds to try and get some pictures," said Geoff Downey with New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization. "It's potentially fatal behaviour, even. We always encourage people to act in their best interest and also in the best interest of emergency responders. Any time you're putting yourself at risk, you're also putting someone else at risk as well."
Farmers in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley are also worried about what will happen to their crops.
"(I'm) concerned about trees falling or grain crops getting flattened, corn being blown over, and too much water ruining cabbage crops," said Josh Oulton, a farmer in Port Williams, N.S.
With significant storm surges expected, cruise ships expected to sail into the Maritimes this weekend are changing their plans.
At least one has been diverted to Saint John.
"So far, there have been a couple of cancellations on the cruise side of things," said Port of Halifax spokesman Lane Farguson. "That's not unusual at this point as the storm approaches. Oftentimes we see a couple of vessels that decide to cancel, sometimes we get additional calls as a result as well, and that's entirely at the discretion of the captain of the vessel."
Emergency shelters are already in place throughout HRM if needed.
"(We're) gathering our resources and checking all our inventories for emergency generators, chainsaws, topping up fuel supplies, so if the power does go out we are able to fully function here as are our partners in the province and the federal government," Fleck said.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Amy Stoodley.