A winter storm was expected to bring up to a foot of snow to parts of New England on Friday.
Forecasters said Boston could get up to 6 inches of snow and New York as much as 3 inches. Interior Massachusetts could be hit harder — up to 12 inches.
The system was expected to hang out through Saturday morning.
"We are watching a conveyor belt of wave after wave of snow coming in over the Atlantic," Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told the AP. "The morning commute will definitely be a challenge," he added, especially for those headed into Boston from the south.
NBC Connecticut warned that "isolated power outages are possible from the combination of wet snow accumulating on trees and power lines and gusty winds."
"Late Friday into Friday night, the storm will finally shift out to sea with impacts limited to lingering breezy winds along the Northeast coast by Saturday morning," according to weather.com.
Parts of the Jersey shore, still struggling to recover from superstorm Sandy, were dealing with a new bout of flooding on Thursday.
Pounding surf broke through a temporary dune in Mantoloking during the early-morning high tide, sending water flowing onto a section of Route 35, which was closed for several hours.
New Jersey's Department of Transportation, Mantoloking's public works crews and contractors on Thursday were scooping and pushing sand back into the breach.
"They're trying to keep the dune system intact," Police Chief Mark Wright told the AP.
Other shore towns also had trouble with flooding, including Sea Bright, where firefighters put out a blaze in a vacant commercial building sparked by a downed power line.
Along the Massachusetts coast, which was hammered by a blizzard four weeks ago, people braced for surging seas. Homeowners were encouraged to evacuate. Photos showed two-story-high waves crashing against seawalls.
“We still have remnants of the last storm in the yard,” Paula Polasky, who lives in the coastal town of Scituate, told NBC station WHDH in Boston before packing up and leaving. “I’m not going to take any chances this time.”
Parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio woke up to as much as 6 inches of snow Thursday, with the possibility of more in the Philadelphia suburbs into Friday, NBC Philadelphia reported.
The system was a no-show in Washington, where predictions of the worst snowfall in two years came to nothing more than a slushy annoyance. It was far more impressive to the west: Parts of Virginia got 20 inches of snow.
People in the nation's capital didn’t even need to break out snow shovels after the storm left only a scattering of flakes.
Federal offices closed, schools were shut and Congress postponed hearings on Wednesday as the city braced for what people online dubbed Snowquester, after the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.
“They just say that it might snow and the whole city shuts down,” Sheri Sable told The Associated Press as she walked her dogs in a slight drizzle in Washington on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.