Shane Fewkes is one of thousands of people in the Halifax region without power on Sunday.

“There’s fully grown trees ripped out of the ground, all of the streets are covered in leaves,” the Waterloo Region native said as he described what he saw outside his apartment window. “It looks like somebody took a leaf blower and blew leaves all over the place.”

Officials are surveying the damage and destruction after Hurricane Dorian swept through on Saturday.

“Not so much rain but blowing rain, so it wasn’t necessarily falling, it was just all over the place,” Fewkes said of the storm coming through the city. “Looking outside your windows you’d see limbs from trees falling off and missing people’s cars.

“It was really creepy in a way.”

Fewkes is from New Hamburg, but has been living in Halifax for the last two years.

He was bracing for the worst by preparing a 72-hour emergency kit. This included non-perishable food items, flashlights, and extra crash.

“My bathtub is filled with water,” Fewkes said. “A lot of my pots, pans, and empty reusable water bottles are also filled with water for drinking.”

He says his power went out Saturday afternoon. Fewkes joins more than half a million customers who are still without electricity across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P.E.I.

“If we’re dealing with a situation where we got 400,000 customers out as of 6 a.m. this morning, this is an exercise of days, not hours, restoring power,” said Karen Hutt, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “It’s just not feasibly possible to do it that quickly.”

Up to 700 Canadian Forces Personnel will be fanning out across the region on Sunday to help restore power, clear roadways, and evacuate residents in flooded areas.

“They’re going to be clearing away debris and making sure that routes are cleared to hospitals and other critical infrastructure,” said Rear Admiral Craig Baines, commander of the joint task force Atlantic.

Fewkes says he was feeling nervous for the storm and admits it was something he never thought he would see.

“As soon as I saw true maritimers who experienced the one in 2003 starting to line up at the store and really bare down, that’s when I was also like ‘okay I need to do something here,’” he said. “I got a little more serious about it then.”