Winter storm hits US

A winter storm made landfall on the northeast US.

 A man makes deliveries while snow falls on Madison Avenue as a strong winter storm hits the northeast on 7 November 2012 in New York. Picture: AFP/Stan Honda

NEW YORK - An unseasonably early-winter storm brought snow, rain and dangerous winds to the US Northeast that plunged many residents of the most populous region of the country back into darkness.

The storm iced roads and hit transit systems, bringing fresh misery to those whose lives were disrupted by Superstorm Sandy.

Sandy's death toll in the United States and Canada reached 121 after New York authorities reported another death in the coastal neighbourhood of Rockaway.

More than 60,000 homes and businesses in a band stretching from the Carolinas to New York lost power, joined more than 640,000 customers that remained in the dark after one of the biggest and most expensive storms ever to hit the United States.

Freezing temperatures were a fresh worry for residents left without power.

New York distributed space heaters and blankets to residents without heat or power and opened shelters to those in need of a warm place to sleep.

The low-pressure weather system coming from the south brought wind gusts up to 97 kph and dropped what was expect to be 8-13 cm of snow on New York City.

Twice that much hit the northern suburbs, according to the the National Weather Service.

US President Barack Obama spoke with the governors of New York and New Jersey by telephone on Wednesday, according to a White House official.

Meanwhile, New York and New Jersey evacuated the most vulnerable coastal areas ahead of the storm, which was forecast to bring a high tide about 2 feet (60 cm) above normal by early Thursday.

New York City officials urged residents whose homes have been flooded by Sandy to relocate to the homes of friends or family members or to go to city shelters.