Heeding predictions from forecasters and stern warnings from authorities, tens of millions of residents from northern Georgia to New York hunkered down to wait out a mammoth storm that made travel treacherous and could dump 2 feet or more of snow in some areas. Snow started falling Friday, but the worst was still yet to come, with strong winds and heavy snow expected to produce “life-threatening blizzard conditions” throughout the day Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters also predicted up to a half-inch of ice accumulation in the Carolinas, and potentially serious coastal flooding in the mid-Atlantic. The giant snowstorm already forced the cancelation of about 8,00 flights, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and led to the deaths of at least nine people. Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency Friday night in New Jersey as the blizzard threatened to dump up to 2 feet of snow in his state. He had been on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. FULL REPORT