A major winter storm has pummeled parts of the U.S. Middle Atlantic region, blanketing the U.S. capital and surrounding area with more than 60 centimeters of snow.
The National Weather Service is predicting up to 75 centimeters of snow for the Washington region by late Saturday before the storm heads to sea.
Forecasters issued blizzard or winter storm warnings for the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Life in the nation's capital ground to a halt with the federal government and most businesses closed and residents warned to stay off the snow-clogged roads. Hundreds of thousands of homes were without power as the wet snow and gusty winds downed trees and power lines. Local television showed stranded vehicles, fallen trees and even collapsed rooftops.
In downtown Washington, a massive snowball fight attracted hundreds of participants eager to take advantage of the snow.
Forecasters say this could be the largest recorded snowfall in Washington, rivaling a storm that hit the city nearly 90 years ago in January, 1922. Airlines across the region have canceled flights and train service has been disrupted. As the storm approached, residents emptied supermarket shelves, stocking up on food and other supplies.
This is the second major snowstorm to hit the region in less than two months.