The latest storm to roll off nature's assembly line this bustling winter spread heavy snow and sleet along the Northeast corridor Thursday, while utility crews in the ice-encrusted South laboured to restore power to hundreds of thousands of shivering residents.
The sloppy weather shuttered schools and businesses, made driving scary, grounded more than 6,000 flights on Thursday alone and created more back-breaking work for people along the East Coast, where shovelling out has become a weekly chore — sometimes a twice-weekly one.
"Snow has become a four-letter word," said Tom McGarrigle, chairman of the Delaware County Council, in suburban Philadelphia.
Baltimore awoke to 15 inches of snow. Washington, D.C., had at least 8, and federal offices and the city's two main airports were closed.
Philadelphia had nearly 9 inches, making it the fourth 6-inch snowstorm of the season — the first time that has happened in the city's history. New York City received nearly 10 inches. Parts of New Jersey had over 11. The Boston area was expecting 4 to 6, while inland Connecticut and Massachusetts were looking at a foot or more.
In New Cumberland, Pa., Randal DeIvernois had to take a rest after shovelling his driveway. His snow blower had conked out.
"Every time it snows, it's like, oh, not again," he said. "I didn't get this much snow when I lived in Colorado. It's warmer at the Olympics than it is here. That's ridiculous."
At least 18 deaths, most of them in traffic accidents, were blamed on the storm as it made its way across the South and up the coast.
Among the victims was a pregnant woman who was struck and killed by a snowplow in New York City. Her baby was delivered in critical condition via cesarean section.
The dead also included a man hit by a falling tree limb in North Carolina and a truck driver in Ashburn, Va., who was working to clear snowy roads. He was standing behind his vehicle when he was hit by a dump truck.
Across the South, the storm left in its wake a world of ice-encrusted trees and driveways and snapped branches and power lines.
About 750,000 homes and businesses were left without power in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama, with scattered outages reported in the mid-Atlantic.