New York City and much of the US north-east dug out from a snowstorm that hammered a region still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

The unseasonably early winter storm left more than 1ft of snow in parts of Connecticut and hit the region with 50 mph winds, plunging hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses back into darkness and creating a new commuting nightmare for a region whose transportation system was already under repair.

Bitter cold, rain, snow and powerful winds added to the misery of disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or power was knocked out by Sandy, which hit on October 29.

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"God hates us!" the New York Post said in a front-page headline. Some 3in to 6in of snow fell on the city.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fired the state's emergency management chief, Steven Kuhr, for sending Government workers to Kuhr's Long Island home to clear a tree toppled by Sandy.

Some 715,000 homes and businesses in the region were without power, an increase of nearly 43,000 from Wednesday night

"I thought I was lucky when power was restored last Thursday, but last night it went out again," said Michael Platt, 49, an electrician from Toms River, New Jersey. "The kids have been home for nearly two weeks and I'm not working, and when I'm not working I'm not making any money. This hasn't been easy."

Sandy's death toll in the US and Canada reached 121 after New York authorities on Wednesday reported another death linked to the storm in the hard-hit coastal neighbourhood of the Rockaways, a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean.

"Can you believe this? Enough is enough," said Cindy Casey, whose Belle Harbor home in the Rockaways was swamped by Sandy, as she looked out at the snow blanketing the neighbourhood. Sandy surrounded Casey's home with 6ft of water and sparked a fire that destroyed at least 20 houses.

New York and New Jersey evacuated the most vulnerable coastal areas ahead of the north-eastern storm.

New York City officials urged people whose homes have been flooded by Sandy to relocate to the homes of friends or family members or to go to city shelters. Commuter bus and train services had been disrupted by the storm while all of the region's major airports experienced cancellations.