It will be days before life returns to normal along the U.S. East Coast after a massive winter storm brought blizzards, floods, and record-shattering snowfall to tens of millions of people.

The U.S. government is closed Monday for all but emergency employees as Washington digs out and recovers. The city's subway system will be running on a very limited schedule, making it impossible for thousands of federal employees to get to their offices.

Schools in Washington and the surrounding suburbs are closed and scheduled flights are just starting to trickle in and out of the city's three airports.

The U.S. Congress postponed several votes scheduled for Monday.

WATCH: Blizzard Blankets US Capital

Mayors and governors from New York to the Gulf states are urging drivers to stay off the roads and give snowplows a chance to clear highways and small neighborhood side streets, and give emergency vehicles and power crews the right of way.

The storm sent floodwaters with huge chunks of ice pouring down the main streets of coastal towns of New Jersey and into homes and businesses.

At least 24 storm-related deaths have been reported, including from heart attacks suffered by people while shoveling snow.

One man in Pennsylvania suffocated in his parked car with the motor running when a plow completely buried the vehicle with snow, blocking the exhaust pipe and filling the car with carbon monoxide.

WATCH: Washington's Traditional Snowball Fight

The huge storm moved up the Atlantic coast Friday and Saturday, bringing hurricane-force winds and tons of moisture from the warm Gulf of Mexico.

It struck hardest in the Baltimore and Washington area - two cities that are not accustomed to violent winter storms.

As much as 76 centimeters of snow was dumped on some of the Washington suburbs.

Baltimore was hit with 74 centimeters, breaking the city's all-time record.

New York's 68 centimeters was its second-largest snowfall since 1869 and 101 centimeters was recorded near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

WATCH: Despite Blizzard, New York Locals, Tourists Come Out to Play