New York, Philadelphia and Boston closed schools with more than a foot of snow expected. Parts of New York were buried under snow as Storm Stella caused power outages, brought down trees and crippled transport across the region.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
The weather service's office near Philadelphia called the storm "life-threatening" and warned people to "shelter in place." Coastal flood warnings were in effect from Massachusetts to Delaware.
President Trump said he had spoken to Homeland Security and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready to provide assistance.
"Everybody in Government is fully prepared and ready," he added.
Temperatures remain below freezing, with cold and windy weather set to continue./.