New Jersey's largest electric and gas utility, PSE&G, warned customers to prepare for "potentially lengthy outages" and advised power might not be fully restored until Wednesday. More than 600,000 lost electricity in the state, including Gov. Chris Christie.
The storm came on a busy weekend for many, with trick-or-treaters going door-to-door in search of Halloween booty, hunting season opening in some states, and a full slate of college and pro football scheduled.
More than 22 inches fell in New Hampshire's capital of Concord, weeks ahead of the usual first measurable snowfall.
Elsewhere in northern New England, the unofficial arrival of winter was a boon for some. Two Vermont ski resorts, Killington and Mount Snow, started the ski season early by opening one trail each over the weekend, and Maine's Sunday River ski resort also opened for the weekend.
The severity of the storm caught many by surprise.
"This is absolutely a lot more snow than I expected to see today. I can't believe it's not even Halloween and it's snowing already," Carole Shepherd of Washington Township, N.J., said after shoveling her driveway.