A fall snowstorm blamed for at least four deaths buried parts of Upstate New York under nearly 20 inches of snow Sunday and left thousands of homes without power, while a blast of wintry air sent shivers through much of the East.
Record cold in the East penetrated as far south as Florida while a state of emergency was declared in four Upstate New York counties hardest hit by the storm.
The wet, heavy snow sheared limbs from trees and knocked down power lines, leaving 258,000 homes and businesses in New York without electricity at the height of the storm. A 25-mile section of the New York State Thruway was closed for six hours.
Up to eight inches of snow fell on parts of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, and windblown snow forced closure of a 50-mile stretch of the Massachusetts Turnpike from Westfield to the New York border.
Vermont got up to four inches of snow, and lighter snow was reported in parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.
Columbia County, N.Y., sheriff's deputies said at least two people were killed in separate weather-related traffic accidents Saturday night in the towns of Chatham and Copake.
A third traffic accident blamed on the storm killed an 83-year-old man Sunday morning in Saratoga County. A fourth weather-related traffic death was reported on Route 20 in western Massachusetts.
The higher elevations of New York's Catskill Mountains were hardest hit.
About 20 inches of snow stacked up in East Jewett, in Greene County, and 15 inches at the Slide Mountain Weather Station in Ulster County before the snow tapered off at mid-afternoon.
Up to six inches of snow fell in Albany, the earliest snowfall ever of more than a half-inch in the state capital, the National Weather Service said.
Two dozen low-temperature records for the date were broken or tied.
Calico Rock, Ark., reported a record low of 27 degrees, and both Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, reported record lows of 29.
The mercury dipped to a record 30 degrees in Paducah, Ky., breaking the old record by 6 degrees. Jackson, Miss., reported a record low of 38 degrees and Jacksonville, Fla., had a record low of 49.