Most highways were in good shape in time for the morning commute, though many city streets and sidewalks were still snow-packed and slippery.
Hundreds of schools canceled classes from West Virginia to Massachusetts, but youngsters did not get a holiday in New York City, where subways continued running and major streets had been plowed despite a record-breaking 26.9-inch snowfall.
"I never want to see snow again," Laura Guerra, 27, of Miami, said after spending the night on a cot at New York's LaGuardia Airport. She said she had not seen snow since she was 4, "but I got it out of my system."
CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinksi reports the massive snowfall in Manhattan eclipsed the record set in 1947, when more than 26 inches of snow paralyzed the city, killing 77 people. Sixty years later, there were no deaths and experts say weather forecasting and technology made all the difference.
The storm blanketed the East Coast from Maine to the mountains of western North Carolina, where Robbinsville get 20 inches of snow and a scenic highway remained closed Monday by 6-foot drifts. Unlike most of the Northeast, where the storm died down Sunday afternoon, light snow continued falling in western North Carolina on Monday.
Airlines worked to catch up after canceling hundreds of weekend flights at major airports from Washington to Boston, stranding travelers across the country.
All three major New York-area airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark — had reopened with limited service by Monday morning.
At LaGuardia Airport, passengers were stranded when the airport closed Sunday evening. There were about 200 cots, but many spent the night on the floor. Most were expecting to wait some more Monday, reports WCBS-TV's Tamson Fadal. The airport didn't reopen until 6 a.m. Altogether, 500 flights were canceled in and out of the New York metro area during the storm.
At Newark Airport, "there's more snow here," Denver-bound Elizabeth Maroney told WCBS-AM's Sean Adams. She spent the night sleeping on her snowboard. "Not very comfortable, but it was better than the floor." She won't be able to catch a flight out for another day, and she is hoping to get a hotel for Monday night, but Adams reports they're all booked up.