US winter storm closes highways and stranded hundreds of cars overnight | Business Wire News

Authorities said hundreds of motorists were trapped overnight on a 50-mile (80-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 95 in Virginia because of heavy snow and a crash involving six tractor-trailers blocked the roadway.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) confirmed that on Tuesday, both directions of I-95 Interstate Highway near Fredericksburg, Virginia were still closed.

“Our staff are actively working to get everyone out of 95. Plans are in progress to direct vehicles currently parked on the interstate to a nearby interchange where they can access alternative routes,” the agency said in a Twitter message Say.

Monday’s tractor-trailer collision did not cause any casualties, but as snow accumulated, traffic along major highways along the US East Coast came to a halt. A few hours later, hundreds of motorists posted increasingly desperate messages on social media that they were about to run out of fuel, food, and water.

Marcie Parker, an engineer at the Virginia Department of Transportation, who is responsible for cleaning up interstate highways, said that staff are trying to clean up vehicles that can move on their own first. She said they would then drag the disabled or abandoned people and plow the land, adding that the roads are expected to be cleared during the rush hour on Wednesday morning.

A row of cars waits for evacuation on Interstate 95 in VirginiaOn Tuesday, cars and trucks were stuck on a section of Interstate 95, and drivers were waiting for traffic to evacuate [Steve Helber/AP Photo]

People can be seen walking on the carriageway that is still covered with snow and ice.

Meera Rao and her husband Raghavendra were driving home when they visited their daughter in North Carolina on Monday night. They were only 100 feet (30m) from the exit, but were unable to move for about 16 hours.

“There is not a policeman [officer] We came within 16 hours of being trapped,” she said. “No one came. This is just shocking. As the most advanced country in the world, no one knows how to open a lane for all of us to get out of trouble? “

bad weather

severe Winter weather The entire Pacific Northwest of the United States forced some people into warm shelters, and strong winds caused howling. Colorado wildfires Nearly 1,000 houses were destroyed.

According to data from the National Weather Service, during the snowstorm on Monday, more than 30 cm (11 inches) of snow accumulated around the traffic reserve area. According to reports, thousands of accidents and vehicle detentions occurred in central and northern Virginia.

U.S. Senator Tim Kane said on Twitter that he was one of those trapped in the reserve team for 19 hours. As lawmakers struggled to return to the Capitol, the scheduled vote in the Senate was postponed on Monday.

According to the Freedom Gunners Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia police responded to more than 2,000 service calls due to poor road conditions.

VDOT said that because most areas of central Virginia lost power during the storm, traffic cameras were also offline, which made the challenge even more complicated. According to data from, more than 281,000 customers still had power outages on Tuesday after heavy snow overwhelmed trees and power lines.

“I have never seen anything like this,” truck driver Emily Clemson told NBC Washington. She urges troubled motorists to ask truck drivers if they have food or water to share, because many people carry extra supplies to prevent trapping.

VDOT tweeted to the stranded drivers that reinforcements from other states are arriving to help them resume operations.

“We hope we have a timetable, estimated time of arrival, or educated guesses as to when I-95 will resume travel. It is at a standstill in our area and there have been multiple incidents,” the tweet read. “This is frustrating and scary. Please know that our staff will not stop. The staff will work 24/7 until all roads maintained by the state can travel safely.”

Avoid the road

The state police warned people not to drive unless absolutely necessary, especially in the evening and cold temperatures.

The state police reported in a press release: “Due to the concentration of heavy snow in the area, road conditions for commercial and passenger vehicles are rapidly becoming dangerous.”

“VSP soldiers, wreckers and VDOT staff continue to work as soon as the weather and road safety permit to clear the vehicles stuck on I-95 and re-pass.”

Social media is flooded with posts about desperate drivers trapped in the car for hours in the cold weather.

“We were trapped here for more than 10 hours. We have dogs, we have to go to the bathroom, and we need to refuel. There are no hotels around to open doors,” a driver wrote on Twitter.

The fast-moving storm forced the closure of federal offices and schools, grounded planes, and cut power to thousands of residents.

Governor Ralph Northam said on Tuesday that state and local emergency responders worked overnight to clean fallen trees, assist disabled vehicles and rearrange drivers.

“Although Sunshine is expected to help @VaDOT clear the road, all Virginians should continue to avoid 1-95,” he wrote on Twitter.