A winter storm brought a strong mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet across North Carolina and Virginia Saturday.

Some of the heaviest snowfall was in Williamsburg, Virginia, which saw accumulations of about 30cm. In parts of northern Georgia, there was 15cm of snow.

By Saturday evening, there had been 3,657 flights delayed and a further 3,458 cancelled, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.com.

Emergency services were kept busy with hundreds of road accidents.

North Carolina’s governor Roy Cooper said his state had seen more than 700 accidents since the snow fell – although no fatalities – and Virginia State Police said they had dealt with 500.

The terrible weather conditions are also being blamed for a 20-vehicle crash on a major road in Middletown, Connecticut, on Saturday afternoon although police have said there were no serious injuries.

Three driving deaths in Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia are being recorded as weather-related, while other road fatalities in North Carolina and Maryland are being investigated to see if the weather may have played a part in them too.

Mr Cooper said that there were 25,000 homes without power in North Carolina, although the power company said this number had fallen to several thousand by late Saturday.

Residents in areas affected by the extreme weather were told to stay home and not to drive unless they absolutely had to.

And the bad weather may not be over yet – the National Weather Service has warned those in the east of the US to prepare for more cold temperatures on Sunday, especially in North Carolina and Virginia, which could see temperatures of around -15C.

The weather is not much better in the western states – rain on top of snow has caused flooding in Nevada, rain in California has raised the threat of mudslides while Utah is experiencing snow, freezing rain and strong winds.