In Virginia, a winter snowstorm brought 12-inches of the white stuff down on roads and highways in the state. The worst hit area was the Fredericksburg region and the Interstate-95 highway. Since the snow began falling on Monday (January 3rd) morning, the torrid conditions saw motorists stranded on the highway for more than 15-hours.
According to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the I-95 is now closed northbound and southbound between exit 152 at Dumfries, VA, and exit 104, at Carmel Church, VA.
As the road clogged up, those stranded in the jam took to Twitter to share their stories from the snowstorm.
One driver said their “typical 5.5-6 hour journey turned into 15" due to the storm. Another added that they hadn’t moved in 17 hours.
Meanwhile, local news station NBC Washington reported that drivers had only moved “a few car lengths” after a day on the road. The station also quoted one truck driver who said she had “never seen anything like it”.
According to the news outlet:
“Nisa Semesta, who was stuck on the southbound side for more than 12 hours with two cats in her car, said drivers couldn’t even get off the interstate for supplies. Side roads were also impassable.
“‘We’re really worried about our access to food, water and sanitation at the moment,’ said. ‘I know some people are starting to get worried about gas’.”
Authorities elected to shut the 50-mile stretch of highway so that emergency crews could work to remove stopped trucks, treat for ice, and plow snow.
Marcie Parker, P.E. VDOT Fredericksburg district engineer, said: “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.”
The road remains closed today, and traffic was still at a standstill this morning, according to Virginia State Police.
The VDOT said that anyone stranded in the jam should stay inside their cars while the road is cleared.
Motorists should dial 911 if they have a medical or safety emergency, providing the make and model of their vehicle, as well as the nearest mile marker.