Atlantic Canada is bracing for a spring blizzard that could dump more than a foot of snow, bring wind gusts of more than 100 kilometres per hour and storm surges that could damage docks and coastal properties.
Environment Canada forecaster Tracey Talbot said the storm will begin early Wednesday morning in southern Nova Scotia and bring whiteout conditions across the region through the day.
Talbot said the possibility of damage is real because a storm surge will bring rising waters along the coastlines of Nova Scotia and northeastern New Brunswick — in some cases 50 to 80 centimetres higher than normal, with strong waves driving the sea into shore.
"That is definitely something we have to keep an eye on, especially if it coincides with high tides," Talbot said Tuesday.
"With the storm surge we're expecting, we could see some flooding and some local infrastructure damage."
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen MacNeil urged people to prepare.
"Look after your neighbours," he said. "If there are people in your community ... that are living alone or are elderly or needing some support, make sure you keep in touch with them to ensure that everyone weathers the storm."
Up to 40 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southern New Brunswick, she said.