"I know the Northeast was hit by snow. I get it. But still, this is Monday and I still haven't gotten a flight yet," said Sam Rogers, who had planned to fly back to New York on Sunday after visiting his brother in Charlotte, N.C., for the holiday. He was supposed to be back Monday at the mortgage company where he works, but no one was answering the phone at his office. "I guess they took a snow day, too."
In New York, many passengers tired of waiting around couldn't have left even if they wanted to. Taxis were hard to find, and many airport shuttles and trains were also a lost cause.
"There's literally no way to leave," said Jason Cochran of New York City, stuck at Kennedy.
Yoann Uzan of France, on a first-ever trip to New York City with his girlfriend, said their airline had promised to put passengers up at hotels overnight. "But we waited for the shuttle buses to take us there, and then the buses couldn't get through because of the weather, so we were stuck here," he said.
Passengers stuck at New York City's main bus terminal - where all service was canceled - tried to get some shuteye as they awaited word on when buses might start rolling again.
"It's really, really cold here," said 12-year-old Terry Huang. "The luggage was really hard to sleep on. It was hard and lumpy."
Two passenger buses headed back to New York City from the Atlantic City, N.J., casinos became stuck on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway. State troopers, worried about diabetics aboard, brought water and food as emergency workers worked to free the vehicles.
In Virginia, the National Guard had to rescue three people trapped in a car for more than four hours in the Eastern Shore area.
Not even professional hockey players could beat the frozen conditions. The Toronto Maple Leafs, after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in Newark, N.J., got stuck in traffic for four hours on their way to the team hotel. It was supposed to be a 20-minute ride. Center Tyler Bozak tweeted in one middle-of-the-night dispatch: "Roads closed in new jersey stuck on the bussss. Brutaallll!!"
Christopher Mullen was among the New York City subway riders stranded for several hours aboard a cold train Monday. "I just huddled with my girlfriend. We just tried to stay close," he said.
The train was stopped by snow drifts on the tracks and ice on the electrified third rail. It took hours to rescue the passengers because crews first tried to push the train, and when that didn't work, a snow-covered diesel locomotive had to be dug out of a railyard and brought in to move it.
Getting around cities in the Northeast was an adventure. In one Brooklyn neighborhood, cars drove the wrong way up a one-way street because it was the only plowed thoroughfare in the area. In Philadelphia, pedestrians dodged chunks of ice blown off skyscrapers.
New York taxi driver Shafqat Hayat spent the night in his cab on 33rd Street in Manhattan, unable to move his vehicle down the unplowed road. "I've seen a lot of snow before, but on the roads, I've never seen so many cars stuck in 22 years," he said.
Hajela reported from Fort Lee, N.J. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Samantha Henry in Newark, N.J.; Glen Johnson in Haverhill, Mass.,; David Sharp in Portland, Maine; Leon Drouin-Keith, Sara Kugler Frazier, Samantha Gross, Karen Matthews, Adam Pemble and David Porter in New York; Eric Tucker in Providence, R.I.; Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia; Geoff Mulvihill in Haddonfield, N.J.; Chris Hawley in Newark, N.J.; George Walsh in Albany, N.Y.; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, N.J., and Mitch Weiss in Charlotte, N.C.
The storm closed all three of the New York metropolitan area's airports Sunday and stymied most other means of transportation.
Denver International Airport officials said some passengers stranded or delayed by last week's blizzard were still trying to get flights out of the city Monday but they did not know how many.