A sprawling storm has dumped several inches of snow from the US Midwest to the East Coast and deluged the South with rain, closing schools, snarling air travel and littering highways with crashes.
New Jersey's governor declared a state of emergency, even though only 10cm of snow was expected before turning to rain Wednesday night. State and local government offices in Delaware closed early, as in Philadelphia.
Nationwide, more than 2200 flights were cancelled and more than 5500 were delayed, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
The mid-Atlantic region was especially hard hit as airlines pulled flights ahead of the storm. Washington's Reagan National Airport led the pack.
Farther west, snow forced Minneapolis and St. Paul schools and scores of other districts in Minnesota and Wisconsin to cancel classes as up to 10 inches of snow fell on the region.
Schools, businesses and government offices in Kansas closed or announced plans to start late. Several school districts closed in Missouri, where officials said many roads across the northern half of the state were partially or completely snow covered.
The storm produced heavy rain and flash floods in parts of the Deep South. Water covered roads in parts of eastern Mississippi and northern Alabama.
As much as 20cm of rain is expected through Saturday in the area.
Australian Associated Press