High winds and a storm surge are wreaking havoc on Nova Scotia's southern coastal shores.

The town of Shelburne is assessing damage to its historic waterfront.

The combination of high tides and gusting winds caused the waves to surge over the street where wharves, homes and restaurants are located.

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The Little Harbour Wharf in Shelburne County. (Twitter)

 

"Historic Dock Street did experience some flooding and some residents were reported as threatened at that time. The tide is receding and conditions have improved along the waterfront quite a bit," said Dylan Heide, the town's chief administrative officer.

Shelburne's 18th century waterfront was used as the setting for the Demi Moore movie The Scarlet Letter.

Town officials are asking people to stay off the streets while public works crews and volunteers clean up.

Most wharves on the eastern side of Cape Sable Island are under water and Route 330 is impassable as a result.

Dick Crowell, emergency measures co-ordinator in Barrington, said about a metre of water is covering the highway.

 

"There was a roof on one of the older homes lying in the middle of the road in Clark's Harbour. I believe that's been cleared up. There are lots of lines down. There are trees that are down and one of the fish plants has about three feet of water all around it," he said.

"There are several derelict vessels that have broken loose and are now coming ashore near the roads."

There are more than 1600 customers in the Barrington area without power.

Parts of downtown Liverpool are also under water.

Melanie Ingersoll, owner of the town's Home Hardware, says her store wasn't damaged, but she was shocked to see water levels reaching the doorstep.

"The water is starting to go down now. So that's good news," she said.

"We're pretty much just hanging out waiting for the steps and sidewalk to clear off so we can kind of clear the ice away and we're not really open but we're here if someone has an emergency and absolutely needs to make it in."