A clean-up operation is under way in the north-eastern United States after a ferocious snowstorm forced the region into a partial shutdown.

The storm affected nine US states, killing at least eight people and resulting in the cancellation of thousands of flights across the region.

Work is now under way to restore electricity to more than 600,000 homes and businesses as the storm abates.

New York escaped the worst of the storm but the city's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg urged people not to use their cars.

The storm stretched from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic with 90cm of snow covering the Northeast.

Coastal blizzard and flood warnings were in effect as the storm moved slowly eastward out to sea.

It centred its fury on Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with the most snowfall, 95cm in Milford, Connecticut.

Authorities ordered non-essential vehicles to stay off roads to allow snow plow crews to clear them.

The ban left normally busy arteries such as Interstate 93 in Massachusetts nearly deserted.

About 2,200 flights were cancelled, according to FlightAware, which tracks airline delays.

Boston's Logan International Airport and Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, were shut down.