Scotia and Prince Edward Island declared states of emergency on Thursday because of the vicious storm that has hit the Maritimes.
Meteorologists are calling the winter storm that has slammed the Maritimes a "weather bomb." For the first time ever, Nova Scotia's Emergency Health Services has declared a "Code Black" for the entire province, which means ambulances are responding to people with life-threatening injuries or illnesses first. Doctors and paramedics are screening 911 calls.
Photo gallery: Maritimes get thumped
Heavy snow and high winds created treacherous driving conditions in all three Maritime provinces. Snowplows were ordered off the roads in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. in the morning.
Much of southern New Brunswick was hit with similar problems by the afternoon.
The Confederation Bridge, linking New Brunswick with the Island, has been shut down.
A state of emergency requires all non-essential workers to stay home. It also gives police and emergency personnel the authority to order vehicles off the roads.
Businesses, government offices and schools are closed across both Nova Scotia and the Island.
Flights have been cancelled at airports in Halifax, Charlottetown and Moncton.
Some areas are expecting 25 to 30 centimetres of snowfall on Thursday, driven by winds exceeding 100 km/h.
Some areas will be hit by freezing rain, too.
Conditions are the worst I have seen in 22 years," said Staff Sgt. Scott Burbridge with Halifax RCMP.
Power has been cut to some parts of Nova Scotia's South Shore, but crews are finding roads impassable as they try to reconnect the lines.
"We're checking regularly with our crews to make sure they're safe," said Margaret Murphy, spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power.
Officials are also warning that high tides could bring storm surges to low lying areas.
Written by CBC News Online staff