The snow was a good thing for ski resorts.
One Vermont ski area that relies primarily on natural snow expected the storm would dump enough for it to reopen the mountain this weekend.
"We fully expect to have the all lifts and all trails, or darn close to it," said Eric Friedman, Mad River's marketing director. "We're going from zero to 100 percent in one day."
But some skiers feared they would be unable to get to the resorts.
"People who are trying to go (Saturday) could be putting their life in jeopardy. It could be a whiteout," said Don Martin, 52, a skier from Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Backcountry hikers were warned to be careful, as well. New Hampshire officials told winter hikers of high-mountain whiteout conditions and 80 mph to 90 mph gusts.
The storm forecast prompted many New Englanders to dash to stores to stock up on wood pellets, food, gasoline and other storm necessities.
Before it started, Lynne Michaud of Boscawen and her young son loaded 40-pound bags of wood pellets into her car to feed the pellet stove in their basement.
"We know what we're dealing with. We live in New England," Michaud said in a Lowe's parking lot. "Now we're going to do the storm grocery shopping."
The U.S. Postal Service announced all post offices will be closed Saturday in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Associated Press writers Lynne Tuohy in Concord, N.H., and Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vt., contributed to this report.