Winter barreled across the U.S. like a ton of bricks last week, ushering in a new year with freezing temperatures and stiff winds. Beginning Thursday, heavy snowfall began to fall over much of the Midwest and Northeast, burying everything in up to 2 feet of snow.

Public workers were out in full force Friday to plow and salt the roads ahead of weekend traffic. Outreach teams set out in cities to get homeless people into shelters.

Roads were closed, thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, and several deaths were reported from weather-related causes. The nor'easter brought extreme cold that dipped well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and with the “polar vortex” creeping across the U.S., meteorologists expect temperatures to drop even further.

  • NY cold cab Jan
    A woman hales a cab amid New York City's bitter cold snap in early January 2013. Photo: Getty Images
  • Chicago Jan
    Ice covers the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago where temperatures have dropped well below freezing, December 12, 2013. Photo: Reuters
  • winter-storm-5
    A National Park Service worker spreads salt on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Friday. Photo: Reuters
  • winter-storm-1
    Travelers leave the Back Bay train and subway station during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston on Friday. A major snowstorm producing blizzard-like conditions brought bone-chilling temperatures and high winds from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast, with nearly 2 feet of snow falling in some areas of Massachusetts. Photo: Reuters
  • wtiner-storm-3
    A snow plow clears the road of snow along the New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) in Tarrytown. Photo: Reuters
  • wtiner-storm-2
    NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the massive winter storm moving up the Eastern Seaboard. Photo: Reuters
  • wtiner-storm-7
    Tourists look at a camera to see photographs they took of themselves in a snowstorm in Times Square in New York on Friday. Photo: Reuters
  • winter-storm-4
    A man walks along Fifth Avenue at Central Park as it snows in New York Friday. Photo: Reuters
  • wtiner-storm-6
    At Boston's Logan International Airport, the heavy snowstorm canceled and delayed more than 1,000 flights, paralyzed road travel and closed schools and government offices across the region. Photo: Reuters

"What a New Year's gift, to receive one last snowstorm as mayor," quipped Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, whose 20 years in office just ended and whose successor takes office on Monday.

Click through the slideshow above to see images from the last week’s winter madness. 

Continue Reading Below