For most residents along the eastern seaboard who battled a fierce storm today with record snowfall, gusting winds, deadly roads and widespread power outages, the worst is over, according to forecasters.
The massive snowstorm that barreled across the northeast and southern states will give way to gusting winds and cold temperatures overnight, according to AccuWeather.com. Heavy snowfall will continue to plague Maine and parts of New England into Tuesday.
"This is like a classic winter storm," National Weather Service meteorologist Ross Dickman said from his post on New York's Long Island. "We haven't had a significant storm like this in a little bit of time."
Airline passengers are still stranded after hundreds of flights across the country were cancelled because of the heavy snowfall. In Newark, N.J., 209 flights were cancelled, along with more than 120 in Boston and more than 400 at New York City's two airports.
Plows worked overtime to clear runways but couldn't keep pace. At Boston's Logan International Airport, more than a foot of snow forced the airport to close for 40 minutes today. At JFK in New York, 82 flights normally land per hour. Today, they were averaging a mere 12 flights per hour.
Hank Price, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told ABCNews.com today that high winds expected across the Northeast later today would create a whole new set of snags, most in the form of delays as airports ordered more spacing between planes and extra time to clear off the runways.
Several major airlines, including American, Delta and Continental, reported that they would waive travel fees during the next few days for passengers whose flights had been canceled by the storm.
National Weather Service John Guiney told ABCNews.com that while a portion of New England may see this type of storm once or twice a season, it has been particularly hard hitting for the southern states.
Across the south, the heavy, wet snow took residents by surprise. In Alabama, five inches brought Birmingham and a number of other communities to a standstill. In Georgia, the snow weighed down trees and brought down power lines.
In South Carolina, traffic was moving again after the snow and ice caused traffic accidents that closed Interstate 85 for 10 hours, creating 30 miles of gridlock. Drivers were left stranded overnight without food, water and, when the gas in their cars ran out, heat.
John Erlandson, who started his road trip from Massachusetts to Georgia Sunday morning, thought he was leaving the snow behind when he left the northeast.
"We've been sleeping in the car for five hours," Erlandson said. "We're going to Georgia. Actually, we're not going anywhere right now."
A van full of Boy Scouts got stuck in the icy bottleneck in Gaston County, N.C., after a weekend ski trip.
"We're coming down 77 and we got stuck there for five hours," Scout leader Rod Streeper said. "Finally, got down out of that and we're about ten miles from home in Shelby."
And in Virginia, 140 passengers on an Amtrak train bound for Newport News were stuck sitting on the tracks overnight as problems with railroad switches prevented the train from continuing and fallen trees kept it from returning to Washington, D.C., according to media reports.
Clifton Forge, Va., recorded 22 inches of snow.