Even drivers in the Northeast had a tough time navigating the icy conditions. Jim DeMarino said a normally four-hour drive from Pittsburgh to northern Virginia took eight hours.
DeMarino, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, submitted photos of what he called a "tricky drive" along highways that were "scattered with abandoned, crashed and disabled vehicles."
Dozens of tornadoes
The same weather system that dumped heavy snow in the Midwest and Northeast spawned as many as 30 tornadoes on Christmas, some with wind speeds of more than 100 mph, across the Southeast.
Fifteen of Tuesday's powerful twisters struck Alabama, the National Weather Service confirmed. In Mobile County, David Saraceno spotted something ominous as he sped down Interstate 165 on Tuesday. He was traveling with his wife and 1-year-old daughter to visit family when he saw a tornado on the side of the road. His wife videotaped it.
"It looked like it was about two miles away from us," Saraceno said. "I put the pedal to the floor to try and get out of harm's way, but it seemed to be getting closer and closer."
Panicked, Saraceno got off the interstate near the town of Chickasaw, drove in a different direction and turned around to go home.
Mississippi remained under a state of emergency Friday, with 12 counties reporting storm damage. Nearly 60 homes were destroyed in those counties, and 22 injuries were reported.
Winter wonderland in Dallas
For others, the winter storm system brought a rare white Christmas.
In Dallas, some residents had to change from short sleeves to winter coats on Tuesday, as temperatures plummeted from the 60s to the low 20s in one day.
"We knew it was going to be a white Christmas in Dallas this year as per the weather advisory, but were not aware it will turn out to be so beautiful and freezing cold," Shail Bhatt said.
It's not often that Dallas gets more snow than Chicago, but that's what happened this week.