A fast-moving winter storm, or a "weather bomb" as some forecasters have called it, has brought heavy snow and winds along the East Coast.
The storm was expected to bring as much as one foot of snow in some places. The system has already created travel nightmares across the country.
For New Yorkers, the third time was not the charm. The winter storm is the third to hit the state in less than three weeks. In the Big Apple, the goal has been to avoid a repeat that brought heavy criticism after the first snowfall when many streets remained buried for days.
"We do know that we didn't do the job that new Yorkers expected and we want to make sure that doesn't happen again," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Some New Yorkers have given city leaders the benefit of a doubt.
From Maine to Pennsylvania, cities along the East Coast were prepared for the worst.
"We're on 12 hour shifts," said Tim Bracey, Mount Pocono, Pa., resident. "Midnight to noon, noon to midnight, we have the crews manning the trucks 24-7, so we'll be here."
Philadelphia and Boston, Mass., declared "snow emergencies" ahead of time. The 'City of Brotherly Love' was expected to get as much as 8 inches of snow and commuters have been warned to brace for delays during rush hour.
Thousands of commercial airline flights were also cancelled from Atlanta, Ga., to Boston.
"I'm trying to be optimistic," said Sarvish Arora, an airline traveler. "That's all you can do."
Some savvy travelers decided it would be best to have a back-up plan.
The storm moved in from the South, where it came as a surprise.
"I feel like I'm in a different state right now," said Kevin Johnson, a Gwinnett, Ga., resident. "I have never seen anything like this in Georgia."
Unprepared and relatively unfamiliar with weather like the storm produced, the conditions forced some areas to close roads -- in some cases for days.
"You know we can be as angry as we want to, but there's not a darn thing you can do about it," said Kendall Allman, a truck driver.
The Midwest was also blanketed with snow. In Grand Rapids, Mich., some sculptors used the snow and ice to create a giant life-size game of chess.
In Columbia, Mo., the snow gave children of all ages an excuse to have fun while sledding in the snow.
Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., crews were busy pre-treating streets Wednesday morning but once again, the city escaped the brunt of the storm.
Forecasters said the system moving along the northeast should clear Maine by Thursday.