National Weather Service
The National Weather Service warned of a "very dangerous" cold air mass, prompting governors to declare emergencies and school districts to shut down.
The arctic air will stretch from Illinois west through the Dakotas until Thursday.
The storm is bringing snow, ice, freezing rain and arctic air to much of the East Coast.
Despite the shutdown, the National Weather Service is putting out forecasts and helping local officials prepare for dangerous weather, even as employees worry about making ends meet at home.
The Port Orchard twister was extremely rare, especially for December, says the National Weather Service. No serious injuries were reported, but homes and other buildings were affected by the storm.
The National Weather Service warns of "potentially life-threatening conditions" from strong rip currents and powerful waves.
So far this year, 61.34 inches of rain have fallen in Washington, breaking a 129-year-old record.
More than 1 million people are without electricity, and areas along the Gulf Coast report severe outages of cellphone service and other communications.
Hurricane Michael, which made landfall on the Florida panhandle Wednesday, was downgraded to a tropical storm early Thursday morning as it began its charge into North Carolina.
A toddler's body was recovered on Monday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. Moody's Analytics estimates the cost of now-Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence's damage at $17 billion to $22 billion.