LOS ANGELES • The eastern United States began digging out from a massive storm that dumped heavy snow from Georgia to Massachusetts, knocking out power for thousands of people and causing hundreds of car crashes, officials said as they warned of more cold weather ahead.
The snowstorm also caused flight delays and cancellations across the country.
The snow began falling heavily last Friday in parts of Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia and lasted until mid-day on Saturday, meteorologist Andrew Orrison of the Weather Prediction Centre said.
Some of the heaviest snowfall, accumulating to about 30cm, was in south-east Virginia around Williamsburg and in northern North Carolina, Mr Orrison said. Parts of northern Georgia had over 15cm of snow, he said.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said in a statement that thousands of blackouts were reported and city officials in the Atlanta area asked residents to check on elderly people who might lack electricity.
At least one warming centre in Atlanta, where people could get out of the cold, was filled to capacity, the city said on its Twitter page.
Some interstate highways were impassable overnight and multiple traffic collisions had been reported, the statement said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on social media that the state had more than 700 accidents - but no fatalities - and about 20,000 blackouts.
Areas of North Carolina and Virginia, already hit with heavy snow, could see temperatures fall to about minus 15 degrees Celsius, Mr Orrison said.
Meanwhile, rainfall from a Pacific storm lashing parts of California was expected to intensify yesterday and potentially cause flooding and mudslides, especially in areas stripped bare by wildfires, officials said.