The worst of the storm has passed, but the recovery effort is just beginning.
A mammoth blizzard that dumped as much as 3 feet of snow in parts of the Northeast headed out to sea Saturday, as workers across New York and New England struggled to get airports, trains and highways back online.
The snowstorm, a product of two converging weather systems, is being blamed for at least nine deaths in three states and Canada.
It forced the cancellation of more than 5,000 flights, and knocked out power to more than 635,000 customers.
That figure had fallen to around 459,000 Saturday night.
"We had a bad storm here with heavy, heavy snow -- starting with a wet snow early, which stuck to the trees, which brought them down on the power lines, and then the temperatures dropping and then high, high winds all combining to a lot of power outages. We have our challenges here," Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee told CNN.
Forecasters say the storm was still swirling across eastern New England with gusts up to 40 mph in cities that include Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston. But as most of the heavy snow tapered off, a travel ban across Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts was lifted at 4 p.m.
Blizzard warnings were lifted, along with coastal flood warnings for New England.
Mandatory evacuations were issued earlier Saturday for Massachusetts coastal regions near the town of Hull because of flooding concerns, and high winds whipped throughout the area. Authorities advised residents to leave shoreline areas in Marshfield and Scituate.
While the blizzard did not fulfill record-breaking predictions, travel remained slowgoing.
Hundreds of cars were stranded on the Long Island Expressway in New York after motorists got stuck driving in the snow. They outnumbered the tow trucks and crews deployed to the area for the storm, according to Suffolk County police.
The blizzard prompted the U.S. Postal Service to suspend deliveries in seven states.
Postal worker Karlene Calliste left her job around 3 p.m. Friday, got caught in the storm and ended up sleeping at a firehouse in Middle Island, New York, where dozens of other stranded residents were holed up.
"It's crazy. They weren't prepared," she said, adding that a lack of snow plows contributed to the scores of cars and trucks left stuck in the snow.
Three of New York's busiest airports resumed limited service Saturday morning.
At least one runway at Logan International Airport in Boston was to reopen late Saturday, with flights expected Sunday. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, was expected to reopen Sunday morning.
Roads turn deadly
At least nine people were killed in accidents related to the storm -- five in Connecticut, according to the governor, two in Canada, one in New York and one in Massachusetts -- a 14-year-old Boston boy who was helping his father shovel snow.
The boy hopped in the snowed-in family car to warm up. The engine was running and the exhaust pipe was blocked by snow, causing carbon monoxide to back up in the car. Firefighters were unable to resuscitate the boy.
Boston police said they were investigating whether a man in his early 20s found dead a vehicle succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The department put out a public safety advisory and cited calls related to individuals being overcome while trying to stay warm in vehicles in which exhaust pipes were blocked by snow.
In Poughkeepsie, New York, an 18-year-old woman lost control of her car in the falling snow and struck a 74-year-old man walking near the side of the road, police said. He later died from his injuries.
Other accidents occurred in Connecticut and southern Ontario.
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island ahead of the storm ordered all non-emergency vehicles off the streets under threat of imprisonment and fines -- up to a year in jail and $500 in Rhode Island.
Rail transportation came to a virtual halt, with commuter trains running on a patchwork schedule.