Dorian losing strength but still expected to hit Nova Scotia Saturday

(Facebook/Kalin Mitchel - Weather For The Maritimes)

Hurricane Dorian is on a northeast track off the US east coast as residents of Atlantic Canada brace for the massive storm's arrival.

According to the latest update from CTV Atlantic's Chief Meteorologist Kalin Mitchel at midnight Saturday, Hurricane Dorian will make landfall as a strong Category 1 Hurricane.

Mitchell says in a Facebook post the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Centre says maximum sustained winds are no longer forecast to reach 150 km/h.

Friday evening, the National Hurricane Centre had forecast maximum sustained winds of 157 km/h, but Mitchell says that has now decreased.

Parts of Nova Scotia, including Colchester, Cumberland, Hants and Pictou counties are under a hurricane warning, as well as a rainfall warning.

Environment Canada says rain, heavy at times, will begin Saturday morning with widespread amounts of 100 to 150 mm over western areas and 60 to 120 mm are expected over central and northwestern areas. The rain will end from southwest to northeast Saturday night into Sunday morning.

As for the wind, the weather agency is calling for speeds of 90 km/h gusting to 130 km/h at exposed locations and 120 gusting to 150 km/h at the coast with surge of 0.7 to 1 m and waves from 4 to 7 m.

These winds will bring down trees which in turn will lead to downed utility lines and extended service outages.

Moderate to severe damage to roofing materials, exterior cladding and light structures is likely.

The province's Emergency Measures Organization is recommending you secure/remove loose outdoor objects, move important items as high up in your home as possible, turn your fridge and freezer to their coldest settings about six hours before the storm hits, make sure you have a stocked emergency kit (water, medications, non-perishable food, flashlights, battery operated radio). People are also advised to fully charge their electronics ahead of the storm, in case of power outages. 

The Halifax Regional Municipality is asking its residents in the Sambro area, Peggys Cove and along the Eastern Shore to consider a voluntary evacuation until Hurricane Dorian moves out of the region. HRM says the Red Cross will be opening three evacuation shelters at noon on Saturday: Dartmouth East Community Centre, Canada Games Centre, and St. Margarets Centre.

(With files from CTV Atlantic's Kalin Mitchell and Bell Media's Mandy Wood)