Section of Interstate 95 in Virginia Becomes a Trap for Thousands of Motorists – Photo, Video
© REUTERS / VIRGINIA DOTStranded vehicles are seen in still image from highway traffic camera video as authorities worked to reopen an icy stretch of Interstate 95 closed after a storm blanketed the U.S. region in snow a day earlier, near Colchester, Virginia, U.S. January 4, 2022.
US Senator Tim Kaine, who became one of the people stuck on the highway, tweeted that his office is in contact with Virginia Department of Transportation “to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation”.
Thousands of drivers ended up stranded on Interstate 95 in Virginia, trapped in their vehicles for hours as the highway was closed because of a snowstorm.
According to Reuters, traffic on a 47-mile stretch of the highway, which usually takes about an hour to travel, stopped on Monday evening and had not resumed by Tuesday morning.
Although many motorists had to endure chilly weather - some with no food or water - Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in an interview with WTOP radio station on Tuesday that state and local emergency workers worked during the night to remove trees which had fallen, reroute drivers and to help with the disabled vehicles.
"With the sun up now, that will certainly help us, but we need to get people off the road. We have food, warming shelters in place, and we’re getting to these individuals as fast as we can,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, some of those trapped in the freezing traffic jam shared their thoughts on Twitter.
“I started my normal two-hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol,” US Senator Tim Kaine tweeted.
He added that his office is “in touch” with Virginia Department of Transportation “to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation”, and asked people to “stay safe”.
CBS4 journalist Jim DeFede joked about his predicament as he has been trapped in his car on I-95 for more than 20 hours.
“I’m not sure but I think I now qualify for Virginia residency,” he remarked.
In another tweet, he also told the story of how Schmidt Baking Company agreed to have one of their lorries, that got stuck on the highway, opened so that the bread that was on its way to be delivered could instead be handed out to those who were stranded.
The traffic on the highway was paralysed because of crashes and spin-outs that occurred after heavy snowfall in “parts of the south-east and mid-Atlantic states”, as Reuters described it.