Waves from the sea washed into Boston streets - the tide in the harbor matched a record of 15.1 feet set during the blizzard of 1978.
Communities outside Boston, including Scituate, also saw extensive flooding, with parking lots filled with water damaging unoccupied vehicles.
Stunned residents had to flee their homes in coastal MA as frigid waters poured into their streets and engulfed their cars in ice. The deadly snowstorm caused four deaths in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas. "We want to clear the streets".
Storm intensity is measured by central pressure - the lower the pressure, the stronger.
The storm flooded streets in some communities in coastal MA, turning roads into slushy rivers.
According to Chicago Department of Aviation, by 9:30 a.m. local time, Chicago O'Hare International Airport had cancelled more than 180 flights and the Midway Airport, more than 50 flights.
Late on Wednesday night, a baggage auto and two sleeper cars on an Amtrak train travelling from Miami to NY, with 311 passengers onboard, derailed as it was slowly backing into a station in Savannah, Georgia. However, travelers were urged to contact their airlines and check on the status of specific flights.
The mayor said that though schools were closed Thursday, they were expected to be open Friday. Sporadic delays were reported on transit systems, including NY state's Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines, as well as the Boston area's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) system.
"We want people to stay away from here", Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said.
The rare type of storm struck the United States south-east on Wednesday, also dumping snow in parts of SC and eastern Georgia, said the meteorologist Patrick Burke of the federal Weather Prediction Center.
The city is expecting up to six inches of snow and will have 1,500 plows out across all five boroughs.
Nicosia said the National Weather Service does not name storms. A winter storm warning means risky winter weather is expected, with "considerable travel problems", while a winter weather advisory means "travel difficulties" are expected with "potentially unsafe winter weather".
"It can be very risky", Pydynowski said.
Schools were ordered closed in New York City, many parts of New Jersey, Boston and elsewhere throughout the region. Boston will plunge to 7 degrees below zero - plus up to a foot of snow.
Ankle deep snow and wind gusts approaching 50mph covered Maryland's Ocean City Boardwalk, which was under a blizzard warning on Thursday. In addition, the vast majority of other eastern states are in the midst of bone chilling cold, with some temperatures at below -10F.
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