HALIFAX– Nova Scotia Power says it's getting ready for a storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to the Maritimes on Thursday.

“We know that there are trees across the province that were weakened by post-tropical storm Dorian last month. With forecasts calling for wind gusts up to 90 km/h, we will be prepared to respond in case trees fall into power lines,” said Matt Drover of Nova Scotia Power.

Nova Scotia Power activated its emergency operations centre at noon on Wednesday to plan and manage its storm response. The utility says it will keep the centre open until all customers have had their power restored.

"Crews will begin restoring power as soon as conditions are safe," Nova Scotia Power said in a news release. "If winds are gusting above 80 km/h, they have to make on-site assessments of whether to stand down for safety."

Pat Harding lives in a west-end Halifax neighbourhood.

Her street is lined with large elm trees whose roots have been damaged over the years by sidewalk and road repair.

People who live in the area worry that more trees will come crashing down on Thursday, taking power lines with them.

"I'm always concerned," said neighbour Michael Norris. "We've had storms where there's been lines down right in the middle of the street and they'd be sparking away for half hour or an hour before the power company could get here."

Harding said when a tree fell during Dorian, the neighbours could see the next two trees down beginning to tip over as well and then tip back again.

"One of them, two trees down there, tipped up out of the ground about twelve inches," Harding said.

There are similar worries in New Brunswick where historic trees in Saint John's King Square also fell victim to Dorian's aftermath. EMO officials warned residents to be prepared.

The crane that's still dangling in south-end Halifax has been secured and is expected to stay that way through Thursday's nor'easter.

In anticipation of the storm, the Halifax Regional Municipality has street sweepers out to clear leaves out of drains in hopes of preventing any localized flooding.

Nova Scotia Power encouraged customers to prepare for power outages by providing this checklist:

  • Monitor local weather forecasts.
  • Have an emergency kit that includes flashlights, a battery-powered radio, and fresh water.
  • Charge electronic devices.
  • If you lose power, turn off and unplug electrical equipment, such as televisions and computers to prevent damage when power is restored.
  • Visit www.nspower.ca/stormready for a full list of safety and storm preparedness tips.

Customers can report outages and get estimated times of restoration online at outagemap.nspower.ca or by calling Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004.

If there are multiple power outages, Nova Scotia Power says it will work to restore power "in phases to ensure critical services like hospitals can stay open before beginning work in other areas," the utility said in their news release. "Larger outages on transmission lines and in substations are restored ahead of smaller outages to restore electricity to the greatest number of customers."

NB Power says it is also monitoring the storm and preparing staff to respond to any outages.