NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Few of the people parading around the streets with snow shovels Sunday needed any reminder of the region's string of natural disasters in recent years: Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, and a rare pre-Halloween snowstorm.
But as parts of Connecticut dug out from 3 feet or more of snow, there was no avoiding it.
Connecticut was hardly alone in being buried in the snow, but it seemed to suffer the worst of the storm. While much of the pre-storm concerns centered on eastern Massachusetts, no area was hit harder than Connecticut, where the town of Hamden took top snowfall honors: 40 inches.
The storm was blamed for at least 15 deaths in the Northeast and Canada, and brought some of the highest accumulations ever recorded. Still, coastal areas were largely spared catastrophic damage despite being lashed by strong waves and hurricane-force wind gusts at the height of the storm.
Utility crews -- some brought in from as far away as Georgia, Oklahoma and Quebec -- raced to restore power to more than 220,000 customers, down from 650,000 in eight states at the height of the storm. In hardest-hit Massachusetts, where some 180,000 customers remained without power Sunday, officials said some of the outages might linger until Tuesday.
Driving bans were lifted and flights resumed at major airports in the region that had closed during the storm, though many flights were still canceled Sunday.
On eastern Long Island in New York, which was slammed with as much as 30 inches of snow, hundreds of snowplows and other heavy equipment were sent in Sunday to clear ice- and drift-covered highways where hundreds of people and cars were abandoned during the height of the storm. A 27-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway was closed Sunday for snow-removal work.
The National Weather Service was forecasting rain and warmer temperatures in the region today -- which could begin melting some snow but also add considerable weight to snow already piled on roofs, posing the danger of collapse.
Five of the deaths attributed to the storm occurred in Connecticut. By Sunday evening, Connecticut Light and Power said it had restored service to more than 60,000 customers. Fewer than 7,000 customers remained without power, most of them in the southeastern corner of the state.
President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Connecticut, the fifth such instance in the two-plus years Dannel Malloy has been governor, a wearying tape loop of natural chaos -- with tragedies like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December and the previous year's fatal Christmas Eve fire in Stamford added to the mix -- that seems a long way from the state's traditional reputation as the low-drama "Land of Steady Habits."
Losing trees and power has been common in Connecticut in recent storms, including the pre-Halloween snowstorm in 2011 in which 830,000 people in the state lost power, breaking the record set a few months earlier by Hurricane Irene.
Associated Press contributed.