Interstate I-95 Shut Down in Virgina All Night as Drivers Stuck in Cars for 11 Hours in East Coast Blizzard

Massive winter storm shuts down interstate 95 in Virginia stranding drivers overnight.

The AP reported this morning on the snowstorm on the East Coast.

Road crews struggled to reach hundreds of motorists on Tuesday after they were stranded all night in freezing temperatures along a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Virginia. Both directions came to a standstill after tractor-trailers jackknifed in the ice and snow, state police said.

Both directions of traffic on I-95 came to a standstill Monday between Ruther Glen, Virginia, in Caroline County and exit 152 in Dumfries, Prince William County, the Virginia Department of Transportation said. At around daybreak on Tuesday, the agency tweeted that “crews will start taking people off at any available interchange to get them.”

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The amount of snow led to accidents and stopped traffic on I 95.

Crews were working to remove stopped trucks, plow snow, de-ice the roadway and guide stranded motorists to the nearest exits along the U.S. East Coast’s main north-south highway, the transportation agency said. By 9 a.m., a single lane of traffic was creeping forward between many stalled trucks and cars in one direction, while people could be seen walking down traffic lanes still covered with ice and snow.

“We know many travelers have been stuck on Interstate 95 in our region for extraordinary periods of time over the past 24 hours, in some cases since Monday morning. This is unprecedented, and we continue to steadily move stopped trucks to make progress toward restoring lanes. In addition to clearing the trucks, we are treating for snow and several inches of ice that has accumulated around them to ensure that when the lanes reopen, motorists can safely proceed to their destination,” said Marcie Parker, the agency’s Fredericksburg District engineer.

The impasse began when a tractor-trailer jackknifed in the ice and snow, causing a chain reaction of other commercial vehicles losing control and becoming disabled in the traffic lanes, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Tuesday. As hours passed and night fell, motorists posted desperate messages on social media about running out of fuel, food and water.

Between 7 to 11 inches of snow accumulated in the area during Monday’s blizzard, according to the National Weather Service, and state police had warned people to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary, especially as evening and freezing temperatures set in.

One individual tweeted about his experience.

People were stuck in their cars.

The only car to go by was a police car after 3 hours.

Power shortages added to the mess.

After 11 hours the traffic finally started moving.



Joe Hoft