Many communities across the country broke out the snow shovels on Sunday, but some coastal communities expected conditions to worsen.
With hurricane-force winds expected to continue off the Atlantic coast, low-lying areas up and down the East Coast were preparing for more flooding on Sunday and Monday as ocean swells reached 15 feet at high tide, according to the Associated Press.
In rural West Virginia — close to Harpers Ferry — the storm dropped 40 inches of powder, making it the nation’s “heaviest unofficial report” of snowfall, according to Reuters.
“This is kind of a Top 10 snowstorm,” Paul Kocin, a blizzard expert from the weather service, told Reuters.
The weather service reported that the storm produced powerful winds as high as 75 mph at Dewey Beach, Del., and Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, according to the Associated Press. Between Virginia and New York, the AP noted, wind speeds reached about 50 mph.
In Kentucky, hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight on a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 75, according to the AP. Drivers were also caught on highways in dangerous weather in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The storm was among the biggest to hit Washington and New York City, where officials tallied 25.1 inches of snowfall and Mayor Bill de Blasio described the blizzard as “one of the worst snowstorms in New York City history.”
Central Park recorded 26.8 inches of snowfall, the second-most since 1869 and almost equaling the 26.9-inch record from February 2006, Reuters reported.
Officials began lifting travel bans in New York and Baltimore, as well as communities across the country, on Sunday as public transportation was slowly restored.
In Washington, mass transit remained closed until Monday. Snowfall topped 30 inches throughout the D.C. region, according to the AP.
In New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, freezing temperatures and non-stop snowfall were complicated by severe coastal flooding.
Photos shared online Saturday by police departments along New Jersey’s coast showed streets underwater, vehicles totaled, businesses flooded and stretches of small coastal towns covered in icy water.
“There’s the storm, and you got the full moon which is causing the unusually high tides anyway, and that combination is producing a lot of flooding along the coast from the mid-Atlantic and eventually on up into New England,” Tom Kines, senior meteorologist with Accuweather, told USA Today.
“Obviously this is a ferocious storm,” he added. “There are wind gusts 60 to 80 mph. That’s hurricane stuff.”
Some residents who spent Saturday battling rising waters said the speed of the flooding caught them by surprise.
“When the water just started rushing down, it was as impressive as some of the videos you saw of Japan during the tsunamis,” Jason Pellegrini, owner of Steak Out restaurant in Sea Isle City, N.J., told the AP. “It came in that fast.”