Hundreds of U.S. schools took a snow day Monday after heavy, wet snow piled up over the weekend. Several communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts also cancelled or postponed Halloween events.
Some of the heaviest snow was reported in West Virginia. More than 25 cm had fallen in Terra Alta by mid-morning Saturday. Snow also accumulated quickly in parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. Redhouse, MD and Markleysburg, PA each saw around 20 cm.
Some 3 million people were left in the dark as heavy, wet snow weighed down power lines and snapped tree branches. Officials say it could take days to fully restore power. In New England, there were reports of wind gusts reaching up to 120 km/h.
“Snowy fall storms can be particularly destructive,” says Rob Davis, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “That's because trees still have many of their leaves, which quickly get weighed down with snow.”
The same states were hit hard by flooding and winds from Hurricane Irene in August. The grounds were already saturated and it also made the trees more vulnerable to damage, Davis says.
The storm slid through the major east coast urban centres later in the day, snarling traffic and causing flight delays.
More than 7 cm of snow fell in New York City's Central Park -- the most snow ever recorded there in October and the first time since 1952 the park has seen measurable snowfall in October.
Peru, Massachusetts saw the greatest accumulation of snow from the storm -- a whopping 81 cm.
Despite sunny weather on Monday, suspensions remained in effect on several New Jersey train lines into New york City. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said 100 states roads were closed.
The wintery weather has also been blamed for the deaths of at least 12 people, including an 84-year-old man who died when a snow-covered tree fell on his home.
The same system slammed Atlantic Canada Sunday with heavy rain, snow and strong winds reported throughout the day.
With files from Andrea Stockton, Lyndsay Morrison and the Associated Press