The first big snowstorm of the season closed sections of major highways and blacked out more than 100,000 utility customers.
The National Weather Service posted a winter storm warning for parts of New York and issued winter storm advisories for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont.
"It looked like a mini-blizzard in October," said Joe Orlando, spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. "We're salting the roads and we haven't even gone trick-or-treating yet."
Up to a foot of snow was possible in parts of upstate New York, and as much as 9 inches was forecast in Vermont's mountains, the weather service said.