Arctic blast kills at least 16 across US Northeast

A second storm is set to hit the region over the next few days that could be even worse, just as the clean up begins

The clean up and dig out operation has began across the US Northeast after the entire area was hit by a freezing storm bringing howling winds and almost 60 cm of snow on some areas.

The extreme wintry weather has left at least 16 people dead amid blizzard-like conditions, authorities said.

Now, just as residents emerge from the white-blanketed region, another arctic blast that could be even worse is set to hit from the upper Midwest to New England over the next few days.

Terrible driving conditions on the roads have resulted in deadly accidents in Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

In Philadelphia, a massive pile of salt fell on a worker at a storage facility, killing him while in New York state a woman with Alzheimer's disease froze to death after she wandered away from her rural home.

States of emergency were declared in in New York and New Jersey, with residents urged to stay at home.

The heaviest snow fell north of Boston in Boxford, Massachusetts, which received nearly 60 cm. New York's Central Park and Philadelphia each got 15 cm.

Outreach teams were searching streets in New York City and Boston for homeless people at risk of freezing to death.

3,467 flights were cancelled on Friday across the US, the majority of which were were in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.