Some of the worst of the storm appeared to hit Connecticut, where even emergency responders found themselves stuck on highways all night. In the shoreline community of Fairfield, police and firefighters could not come in to work, so the overnight shift was staying on duty, said First Selectman Michael Tetreau.
"It's a real challenge out there," Tetreau said. "The roads are not passable at this point. We are asking everyone to stay home and stay safe."
Several state police cars were also stuck in deep snow in Maine, where stranded drivers were warned to expect long waits for tow trucks.
Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in Boston and more was expected, closing in on the city's 2003 record of 27.6 inches. The archdiocese in the heavily Roman Catholic city reminded parishioners that, under church law, the requirement to attend Sunday Mass "does not apply when there is grave difficulty in fulfilling this obligation."
Flooding was a concern along the coast. The possibility led to the evacuation of two neighborhoods in Quincy, Mass., south of Boston, and of 20 to 30 people in oceanfront homes in Salisbury, in northeastern Massachusetts
The Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery Saturday in New England.
"This is crazy. I mean it's just nuts," Eileen O'Brien said in blacked-out Sagamore Beach, Mass., as she cleared heavy snow from her deck for fear it might collapse.
As the pirate flag outside her door snapped and popped in gale-force winds Saturday, she said: "My thermostat keeps dropping. Right now it's 54 inside, and I don't have any wood. There's nothing I can do to keep warm except maybe start the grill and make some coffee."
In South Windsor, Conn., Bill Tsoronis used a snowblower to carve paths through huge snow drifts in his neighborhood.
"I thought we might have 18 or 20 inches, but in some places it's up to my waist. It's more than I expected," he said. Still, he said the storm was not much more than a nuisance, since the neighborhood still had power, and he said he might gather with neighbors for cocktails later in the day.
His neighbor Mike Schroder said as he brushed snow off cars in his driveway that the storm lived up to the hype.
"This is finally one they got right," he said. He said the cleanup will take some time: "When the snow is higher than the snowblower, you're in trouble."