The region's roughly 25 million people fought blizzard-like conditions Friday night, with blowing, swirling snow and freezing rain.
The National Weather Service says about 3 inches of snow has fallen in Boston but parts of southeast Massachusetts have 6 inches and central Rhode Island has more than 8.
The snowstorm has grounded flights at the New York City area's three major airports. It closed workplaces early and sent people rushing to get home ahead of a possible 1 to 3 feet of snow.
From New Jersey to Maine, shoppers crowded into supermarkets and hardware stores to buy food, snow shovels, flashlights and generators.
Early snowfall has been blamed for a 19-car pileup that caused minor injuries in Cumberland, Maine.