A ferocious storm dumped massive piles of snow on parts of upstate New York, trapping residents in their homes and stranding motorists on roadways, as temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below.
New York City, hundreds of miles to the east, however, was unaffected by snow.
Even hardened Buffalo residents were caught off-guard Tuesday as more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) fell in parts of the city by Wednesday morning. Authorities said snow totals by the afternoon could top 6 feet (1.8 metres) in the hardest-hit areas south of Buffalo, with up to 2 feet (0.6 metres) expected by Thursday.
Cold weather enveloped the entire country on Tuesday, leading to record-low temperatures more familiar to January than November. Racing winds and icy roads caused accidents, school closings and delays in municipal operations from the Midwest to the South even where snowfall was low or mercifully absent.
Officials said a 46-year-old man was discovered early on Wednesday in his car, which was in a ditch and buried in snow in the town of Alden, 24 miles (40 kilometres) east of Buffalo. It was unclear how he died.
On Tuesday, county officials said four people had died, including three from heart attacks and one who was pinned beneath a car he was trying to free from the snow. Two of the heart attack victims were believed to be stricken while shovelling snow.
The storm was blamed for at least seven deaths in New York, New Hampshire and Michigan.