A rare October snowstorm barrelled up the East Coast on Saturday, cutting power to more than two million households, forcing cancellation of scores of airline flights and causing at least three deaths.
Slippery conditions on a roadway caused the crash and death of a man driving in Colchester, Connecticut, said Scott Devico, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management.
In Temple, Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man was killed when a snow-caked tree fell through his home, said a Muhlenberg Township Police Department dispatcher.
And a 20-year-old man was electrocuted in Springfield, Massachusetts when he stepped out of his vehicle and touched an electrified guard rail, a Springfield police spokesman said.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts declared weather emergencies because of the storm.
We are expecting the snow to continue to fall from New York City through Maine. By tomorrow morning it should be pretty much wrapped up across most areas, said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alan Reppert.
Snow was falling across most of Pennsylvania well into Massachusetts after blanketing parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland earlier in the day, Reppert said.
The unseasonably early storm broke a snow record that had stood since 1925 for New York's Central Park, AccuWeather.com said. New York City was expected to end up with three to six inches of snow from the storm.
Are we allowed to curse? said Philadelphia area resident Marjory Levitt. She had discovered that an expensive pair of boots were not waterproof when she ventured out to the supermarket.
Widespread power outages caused by snow, ice and falling trees were reported from the Mid-Atlantic into New England, leaving some two million customers in the dark.
Major delays were reported at Philadelphia International Airport and at New York area airports. At least 1,000 flights had been cancelled and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey closed for a period of time, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.com.
In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy ordered non-emergency vehicles off the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkways due to dangerous driving conditions.
The snow posed traffic and parking problems for some 100,000 college football fans attending a game between Penn State and the University of Illinois in State College, Pennsylvania. Snow ploughs had to clear the field before the game.
In New York City, several hundred people camped in a park in the city's financial district to protest against economic inequality hunkered down in their tents from the wind, rain, sleet and snow.
They desperately tried to stay warm just a day after the fire department, citing safety hazards, confiscated generators that had been powering heat, computers and a kitchen.
For some, the big flakes and accumulation caused excitement, instead of headaches.
There's almost like an electric buzz when the first snow falls, said Anna Weltz, communication director for Seven Springs Mountain Resort, located about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
By early afternoon, six inches of snow was already on the ground at the family ski resort, where phones were ringing off the hook with people asking about opening day.
And it's still coming down, said Weltz. What a sight.
The storm caused massive power outages including 606,388 customers reported by Connecticut Light and Power; 214,000 by PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania; 341,000 without power from PSE&G in New Jersey; more than 300,000 by First Energy in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; more than 77,000 by Con Edison in New York and more than 66,000 by Allegheny Power in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Another 205,890 customers of National Grid in Massachusetts and New York were without power and 17,467 customers reported by The United Illuminating Company in Connecticut.
It's a strong storm for October, said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Paul Walker. We don't usually see storms this deep and this strong.
While October snow is not unprecedented, this storm could be record-setting in terms of snow totals.
Cities along the East Coast including Boston and New York City, typically see their first measurable snowfalls late November into mid-December, according to The Weather Channel.
(Additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Chicago; Ben Schmitt in Pittsburgh, Dave Warner in Philadelphia and Michelle Nichols in New York; Editing by Greg McCune)