Hundreds of Motorists Rescued After Being Stuck Overnight on I-95

And the train that was also stuck finally reached its destination
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2022 10:01 AM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2022 12:10 AM CST
Winter Nightmare on Va. Highway Is 'for the Record Books'
This image shows a closed section of Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Va., on Monday.   (Virginia Department of Transportation via AP)

Update: All of the motorists stranded on I-95 amid a winter storm had been rescued by Tuesday night, the Guardian reports. Some of them had been stuck on the highway for more than a full day, including Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who details his 27-hour ordeal to CNN. The Richmond Times-Dispatch rounds up more stories, including a sad one from a man who ended up missing his father's funeral. The newspaper reports Greyhound and Amtrak passengers also had to sleep overnight Monday in stations due to the storm, and some were still there as of Tuesday night. As for the Amtrak passengers stuck on a train, they were stranded for almost 40 hours but eventually made it to Charlottesville, WSB-TV reported Tuesday night. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

The DC area was slammed by a winter storm Monday, even trapping President Biden on Air Force One for a brief time. His wait on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base was nothing, however, compared to what motorists on a stretch of Interstate 95 in eastern Virginia have been experiencing, with some of them stranded on the icy, snowed-in highway for nearly 24 hours as of Tuesday morning. CNN reports that part of the problem on the 50-mile section of I-95 near Fredericksburg, connecting the nation's capital to Richmond, is that trucks have become disabled, creating a logjam for all of the other vehicles behind them.

NBC Washington notes that many of those stuck in their cars have run out of gas, don't have food or water, and have kids, pets, and other vulnerable passengers with them. "This one [is] for the record books," says one motorist who, as of Tuesday morning, had been stranded for more than 10 hours with her four dogs, per CNN. "I've never seen anything like it," a truck driver tells NBC. Some, including NBC reporter Josh Lederman, took to Twitter to tweet about their experiences during the ordeal. One big name who did just that: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who noted he'd set out for his typical two-hour drive to work at 1pm Monday. "19 hours later, I'm still not near the Capitol," he tweeted around 8:30 Tuesday morning.

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Gov. Ralph Northam implored locals early Tuesday to stay far away from the interstate, noting that his staff worked through the night with the state's Department of Transportation and Department of Emergency Management, as well as with Virginia State Police, to try to bring relief to stranded drivers. "State and local emergency personnel are continuing to clear downed trees, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers," he wrote on Twitter. "An emergency message is going to all stranded drivers connecting them to support, and the state is working with localities to open warming shelters as needed." The local DOT, meanwhile, is advising those stranded individuals who have medical or safety emergencies to stay put in their vehicles and call 911, providing dispatchers with their vehicle make and model, as well as the nearest mile marker if they're able to. (More Virginia stories.)

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