Hurricane Dorian was lashing Nova Scotia on Saturday, as trees tumbled onto cars, roofs were blown off and a massive crane toppled onto an under-construction building amid powerful winds and torrential rain.

On South Park Street in downtown Halifax, a construction crane toppled over onto a building under construction, cracking in half as it hit.

Fatema Ali, 22, said she was watched from a large window in her bachelor apartment as the large yellow crane across the street teetered in the wind.

A crane on South Park Street in Halifax toppled onto a building under construction. (Craig Paisley)

“I was so shocked,” said Ali. “My hands were shaking.”

Ali said she was thankful the crane did not fall onto a nearby building that was occupied. She said the incident was very upsetting.

“I’m glad that nothing happened to anyone,” said Ali. “I was telling people that this should have been removed before the hurricane. Even if people were walking around, you never know, something could have happened.”

Fatema Ali says she was shocked to see the crane coming down onto the building on South Park Street in Halifax near her home. (Steve Lawrence)

A roof on a building on nearby Queen Street blew off in one large section and landed on several cars.

Stephen Brown said he was hunkering down in his home in Halifax’s north end as winds started to pick up. He received a message around 2:30 p.m. from a neighbour saying there was a 10-metre tree lying across his pickup truck.

“It has literally gone right through the truck,” said Brown, 51, adding that the tree landed across the bed of his company’s truck, narrowing missing the cabin.

“It’s kind of scary because what we’re hearing is that the wind is going to continue to build for at least another three or four hours… If trees are coming down at the early part of the storm, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen as we get through it.”

The bed of Stephen Brown’s pickup truck was crushed by a tree Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Dorian blew into Nova Scotia (Submitted by Stephen Brown)

Boats were smashing against the shoreline in many coastal areas of the province.

In Purcell’s Cove, N.S., waves that were pounding against a breakwater appeared to be reaching 15 metres. People who live in the area said they had never seen a storm surge like the one Dorian is bringing.

There were also fears in that community that the breakwater would not hold. Purcell’s Cove was also hit hard by Hurricane Juan in 2003.

Trees, branches and other debris could be seen scattered across roadways throughout the Halifax region.

More than 300,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without power by 4:30 p.m. Saturday.