Police have said 200 cars were stuck on the M62 overnight as 100mph winds and snow hit.
Asst Chief Cons Rob Potts of Greater Manchester Police has spoken to the media today about what happened yesterday and the situation today.
He said some 200 cars - not including HGVs - spent the night on the M62 as a result of the problems yesterday.
It is not known how many people were in each car.
He said at its peak there were 3,500 vehicles trapped following the closure between J20 and J24.
He said: "Working with Highways England and other agencies to respond and help people get off the motorway, we were able to bring the vast majority of motorists in cars off the motorway last night.
"Around 200 cars remained on the motorway last night and they were brought off this morning.
"For those and the HGVs, we worked very hard to make sure we were checking for vulnerability. We brought food and drink for people, and some volunteers played a fantastic role in doing that as well.
"We were making sure people stranded on other roads had opportunities to get shelter, and food and drink if they weren't able to themselves.
"He said rest centres were provided for shelter, food and water, and anyone with acute medical requirements were helped.
He said: "A maximum of 3,500 vehicles were stuck on motorway and couldn't move. We did a cut of the barrier between carriageways and brought them back to Greater Manchester.
"Around 200 spent the whole night on the M62."
He said police used their own vehicles to take people who wanted to be rescued from their cars off the motorway and to safety. Many wanted to stay with their own cars.
He said the military, mountain rescue, fire services and Highways had all worked alongside the police to make sure people were safe.
"Our primary focus was to identify people with medical needs and people with young children. There was at least one baby.
"It was about making sure we got to those people, got them out and got them to shelter.
"I am not aware of injuries, but there were people who didn't have medication who we assisted to get treatment."
And he said people had been ignoring road closed signs - only making the situation worse for everyone concerned.
He said: "Where you see road closed sign you need to comply. Unfortunately too many people drove past road closed signs yesterday and that's really exacerbated the scale of the problem."
Currently the M62 is still closed - and when it can be reopened depends on weather conditions, especially wind levels, he said.
He advised motorists to think carefully about whether they needed to travel, adding: "As soon as the M62 can be reopened safely it will but people need to assess whether journeys are essential. Check the latest information and make sure you take clothing, food and drink and a fully charged phone.
"Seek advice over road closures - and make sure you do not optimistically try to drive past a road closed sign. That sign is there for a reason, your own safety and the safety of others and you will compromise that if you drive past a road closed sign.
"People might think they know the road really well, they may have a 4x4, but the reality is every road has been blocked and they are just compounding the scale of the challenge."