The potentially historic storm which could affect 20 percent of the US population, caused at least six states up and down the East Coast to declare emergencies, forced the cancellation of thousands of flights, closed schools and major mass transit systems - including the New York City subway.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the "life-threatening blizzard" could dump a "crippling snowfall" of as much as 3 feet (90 cm) on the region.

Coastal flood warnings were issued, with tides in the New York metro area expected to be as much 3 feet higher than normal  early Tuesday morning.

Driving prohibited; Bridges, tunnels close               
Driving bans in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts brought the region to a standstill amid near white-out conditions, with the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln and Holland tunnels as well as major mass transportation throughout the city closing at 11 PM.
States of emergency were declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo urged people to stay indoors.
Cuomo announced a travel ban for all but emergency vehicles on every road in 13 counties in southern New York state, including New York City, suburban Westchester and Long Island, with the threat of a USD 300 fine for violators.
Before roads closed, Uber, the app-based ride-hailing service that has been criticized for jacking up prices at times of high demand, told New York City customers it would charge no more than 2.8 times the usual fare for trips during the snowstorm.
Subway Shutdown  
The brutal weather paralyzed the New York City metropolitan area, with a shutdown of all subway, bus and commuter rail service on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road. It was the first time the city subway system was halted because of snow.
New Jersey Transit said on its website it halted commuter trains and buses late on Monday and would not resume service until "conditions permit."

Vacationers and business travelers faced headaches as airlines canceled around 3,000 US flights, with Boston and New York airports most heavily affected, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. New York authorities also said "virtually all" flights at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday
will be canceled and cancellations at John F Kennedy International Airport will be "significant."

Schools closed

The blizzard knocked out entertainment events including Monday night Broadway performances and home games for the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets and shut New York City's zoos, where snow leopards, puffins and polar bears frolicked in privacy.

The United Nations headquarters gave itself a day off on Tuesday. East Coast schools, including New York City with the nation's largest public school system serving 1 million students, and universities, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, canceled classes for Tuesday.

The biggest snowfall on record in New York City came during the storm of February 11-12, 2006, dropping 26.9 inches (68 cm), according to the city's Office of Emergency Management.

Latest News from World News Desk