Thousands of people are trapped in their cars, with no food or water. Worse, after nearly a full day, many vehicles are running out of gas. That’s a bad thing, because there goes the heat. Virgina road crews were unable to cope with “major snowstorms” that dumped a foot of snow on Monday.
Trapped 20 hours
Motorists have been trapped in their vehicles for 20 hours and counting, with no relief in sight. Roads and highways across the state of Virginia “continue to be clogged,” Newsweek reports on Tuesday, January 4.
Among various notables stranded in the chaos is Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. By 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Hillary Clinton’s pick for Vice President in 2016 was tapping out his ire on Twitter.
“I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday, 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol.” Kaine posted.
“My office is in touch with @VaDOT to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation. Please stay safe everyone.” There isn’t much that can be done for the trapped travelers, but they’re doing what they can.
Interstate 95 remains closed all the way through the state of Virginia and that’s “contributing to the significant traffic backup.” Part of the cause was “a tractor-trailer that jackknifed in an accident that involved powerlines.”
This was no ordinary snow storm, with “instances of thunder and lightning reported.” Soon to be ex-Governor Ralph Northam assured trapped motorists “he is working to clear the roads and get traffic moving again.”
I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol. My office is in touch with @VaDOT to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation. Please stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/Sz1b1hZJZ5
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 4, 2022
Warming shelters on the way
According to Northam, VaDOT “has been working throughout the night alongside [the Virginia State Police], [the Department of Transportation], and [the Department of Emergency Management] to respond to the situation on I-95.” They’re working frantically to “clear downed trees, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers.”
They’re putting out an “emergency message” to trapped drivers “connecting them to support” and letting them know “the state is working with localities to open warming shelters as needed.” They hope the sunlight will help melt the roads clear again.
NBC News White House correspondent Josh Lederman is also trapped in his car.
He appeared by video on the Today show, reporting from on the spot that “as of Tuesday morning, he remained roughly 30 miles south of Washington and had been there since around 8 p.m. the previous night. His dog is also stuck in the car with him.”
Lederman notes that even though he’s a liberal, he doesn’t like to whine about being trapped. “I try not to tweet about daily inconveniences, but this experience has been insane.” He was only there for a little over 7 hours at the time but was already showing signs of cabin fever.
“I’ve been stuck in my car, not moving, in a total shutdown of I-95 northbound about 30 miles south of DC… The interstate is absolutely littered with disabled vehicles. Not just cars. Semis, everything. Nobody can move. People are running out of gas or abandoning vehicles.”