US snowstorm blocks drivers for 20+ hours
The snowstorm is over, but the misery of the trip isn’t: Drivers of a major highway outside Washington said Tuesday they were stuck in their cars in freezing weather for 20 hours or more.
As families try to get home after the long New Years weekend, I-95 in Virginia remains dangerously freezing, gas tanks are running low and there is no help in sight, have said the drivers.
Aerial footage showed seemingly endless lines of cars and trucks, bumper to bumper, stranded overnight on a stretch of highway known for its traffic jams, even in good weather.
One of the frustrated travelers was US Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, who got stranded while driving in his state of Washington as Interstate 95 was littered with snow and wrecked cars, and was eventually closed to cause of the monstrous snowfall on Monday.
“I started my normal 2 hour commute to DC at 1 pm yesterday. 7 hours later I’m still not near the Capitol,” Kaine tweeted Tuesday morning.
Jim DeFede, a Florida-based CBS reporter, tweeted that he has been blocked for over 20 hours. “I’m not sure, but I think I now qualify for residency in Virginia,” he wrote.
In another livefeed, DeFede described the freeway as a frozen parking lot where nothing moves, and said he hadn’t seen a patrol car or tow truck for 12 hours or more. The outside temperature while he spoke was 19 degrees (minus 7 degrees Celsius).
DeFede said he would run his engine for about an hour to warm up, then stop it, then repeat it while the wait dragged on. “I have a little over half a tank of gas left and I have no idea when someone will come and get us out of here,” he said.
Monday’s storm delivered an unexpectedly fierce punch and appeared to have caught much of the capital region off guard, temporarily blocking US President Joe Biden on Air Force One and dumping as much as nine inches (23 centimeters) ) snow over Washington – and more in parts of Virginia.
He further scolded transport affected by flight cancellations due to bad weather and airline staffing issues caused by a record increase in Covid cases.
An Instagram user with the kyleoland handle said their family of four with two young children slept in their car, ran out of water, and walked three miles in the dead of night to a Good Samaritan’s house.
“The last 24 hours have been the longest of our lives,” the post said.
The Virginia Department of Transportation said it had never seen such a mess on I-95, although it gave no estimate of how many drivers were affected.
“We know that many travelers have been stranded on Interstate 95 in our area for extraordinary periods of time in the past 24 hours, in some cases since Monday morning,” department engineer Marcie Parker said.
“This is unprecedented, and we continue to move stopped trucks on a regular basis to move towards track restoration.”
Snowstorm hits eastern US, piling on vacation chaos
© 2022 AFP
US snowstorm blocks drivers for 20+ hours (2022, January 4)
retrieved January 4, 2022
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