Dorian damage includes roughly 3,700 trees on lines & 300 broken or leaning poles: NSP

Nova Scotia Power says damage to its infrastructure includes an estimated 3,700 trees on lines and 300 broken or leaning poles (Nova Scotia Power/Twitter)

Canadian soldiers armed with chainsaws are fanning out across the Halifax area to help clean up the mess left behind by post-tropical storm Dorian.

Their deployment was part of a wider effort to deal with power outages that have left much of the Maritimes in the dark for two days.

As of Tuesday morning, Nova Scotia Power was reporting roughly 6,900 separate outages with around 100-thousand of its customers still without power -- down from roughly 400,000 on Sunday.

The utility's CEO says damage to its infrastructure includes an estimated 3,700 trees on lines and 300 broken or leaning poles.

NSP damage assessors have also identified approximately 4,500 outages across Nova Scotia that are single-customer outages, meaning one repair will restore electricity to one customer. 

And, with outages lasting for days, the province says food safety is now a concern.     

Fridge foods generally stay safe for just four to six hours after a power outage, while a fully-stocked freezer will stay frozen up to two days; a half-filled freezer about one day. Most foods with visible ice crystals and at temperatures less than 4C (40F) are safe to be refrozen or cooked.  

And if there's been flooding in your home, foods that are contaminated and wrapped and stored in paper, plastic cloth, fiber, or cardboard should be tossed, as well as food with containers that have screw caps, snap lids, and pull tops should be discarded.

Officials say only commercially sealed, unopened, undamaged, waterproof, airtight jars or metal cans can be considered safe post-flood once they are cleaned and sanitized before opening.

Both the federal Public Safety Minister and Defence Minister will be in Halifax Tuesday to survey Dorian recovery efforts and meet with some of the most affected residents.

Public schools across Nova Scotia are closed again today, including all Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education schools, as the cleanup continues.

~ With files from The Canadian Press