NEW YORK - East Coast residents are bracing for a deep freeze a day after a massive winter storm slammed the region with heavy snow, hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding. Forecasters predict that record-breaking cold air and strong winds will set people's teeth chattering from the mid-Atlantic to New England Friday and that the frigid weather will hang around through the weekend.

The storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico and first struck the Florida Panhandle. By Thursday, it was wreaking havoc as blizzard warnings and states of emergency went into effect along the Eastern Seaboard. Wind gusts hit more than 70 mph in places and some areas saw as much as 18 inches of snow.

The storm caused school and business closings, airline and rail service cancellations or reductions and thousands of utilities outages, many of them restored quickly. Some ferry services even had to be shut down along the Canadian coast.

In the South, Tallahassee, Florida saw snow and residents of southeast Georgia were treated to a rare half foot of snow.  In New England, the powerful winds brought coastal flooding that reached historic levels in some communities with icy water overflowing piers, streets and restaurants and stranding some people who had to be rescued.