Diane Lugo, 29, of Yonkers, had to leave her two children with her mother-in-law rather than drive them to day care. She got a ride with her husband to avoid trudging 10 minutes in the slush to her bus stop.
"Getting out of the driveway was pure hell," Lugo said in Manhattan, where she works as a college admissions coordinator. "He got to work late. I'm obviously late."
In Georgia, nearly 50,000 people are without power and Duke Energy reported that about 100,000 customers in North Carolina are without electric service today and that 74,000 customers are without power in South Carolina. Progress Energy reported more than 5,300 customers had lost service in North Carolina.
In Virginia, Dominion Virginia Power said nearly 123,000 customers were without power, with more than half in the Richmond metropolitan area. Appalachian Power, which serves southwest Virginia, reported about 5,600 outages.
Philadelphia declared a code blue weather emergency, which gives officials the power to go out onto the streets and bring in homeless people to shelters because the weather conditions pose a threat of serious harm or death.
But those preparations don't come cheap. New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine said the storm could cost the state anywhere from about $2.5 million to $7 million, depending on its severity. So far, New Jersey has spent about $22 million on this winter's "frequent snow events," an amount that's about twice as much as what was budgeted for this year.
Maryland has already spent more than $40 million responding to bad weather in what's been a colder-than-usual winter, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Sunday. Any money spent on digging out from the rare March storm will further burden a state that's facing a $2 billion budget shortfall.
"I don't like snow," O'Malley said
The Associated Press contributed to this story.