Police officials of Virginia have stated that both directions of the highway have been shut down in the area of Fredericksburg as crew members attempt to rescue the unfortunate drivers that have been trapped for many hours.
Some drivers passing on Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia have been completely stuck after several trucks crashed amidst a strong snowstorm that has left heavy packs of ice and snow on the road. Senator Tim Kaine, representing the State, is reportedly one of the drivers stranded on the highway.
No Access To Food Or Water
A number of drivers have run out of gas with absolutely no access to water or food. Many have stated they have family members, pets, and children with medical needs. Governor Ralph Northam has issued a statement claiming that multiple state crews and officials including but limited to the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia State Police are working 24/7 to provide aid to those encased in the gridlock.
"This has been a difficult night for a lot of folks. I’m very sorry that people have been stranded. We’re doing everything we can to get to these individuals, whether it be [giving them] water or a place to be warm." - Ralph Northram, Governor of Virginia
Users of social media, including author and TV personality Meghan McCain made calls for the state government to deploy the National Guard.
When pressed to summon members of the National Guard, Northam declined under the belief that the state has more than enough resources to handle the situation, and that the challenge is more centered around the proper way to distribute them.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, a plan is now underway to guide vehicles to alternate routes and interchanges. Firefighters of Prince William County were observed handing out water bottles and blankets Tuesday morning as the nightmare of traffic continued.
Tim Kaine wrote to Washington's Top News that he had spent over 21 hours stuck in the car after leaving Richmond on Monday at 1:00 pm to attempt to negotiate a deal for voting rights in the Senate but failed to attend. Although he claimed the experience to be miserable, he noted the positive camaraderie amongst the travelers stuck, with many sharing the resources they did manage to have prior to getting stuck.
While on her annual trip to Florida, Anne Gould, a driver, stated that she was only able to move ahead by several car lengths.
"There are cars and trucks as far as I can see behind me, and in front of me, and it’s looked like this for 12 hours." - Anne Gould
48 Miles Blocked Off By Heavy Snow
As of 7:00 am on Tuesday morning, the traffic was at a complete standstill. Both directions of the Interstate highway are confirmed as shut down by the Virginia Department of Transportation between Exit 152 off of Dumfries, Prince William County and Ruther Glen, Caroline County. This entire road spans nearly 48 miles through Fredericksburg, an area that recorded over 14 inches of snow on Monday.
The extended closure was put in place such that crews could properly reach those who have been stranded. Furthermore, the agency stated that it responded to hundreds of collisions since Monday, and has been fortunate to report no deaths and only a few injuries.
"There are interchanges at the following mm: Exit 104, 110 Caroline, 118, 126 Spotsy, 130 FXBG 133, 136, 140, 143, 148 Stafford, 150 & 152 PW." - Virginia Department of Transportation
Trucks are being steadily moved out of the way by the department to progress towards the restoration of lanes.
Like clearing the trucks, they are working to treat the multiple inches of ice and snow that have accumulated around these larger vehicles to ensure that upon lanes reopening, drivers can proceed safely to their destination.