A snowstorm in the US has seen drivers trapped in their vehicles on the Interstate for almost 24 hours
Hundreds of drivers in the US have been caught up and stranded in tailbacks caused by a severe blizzard. Vehicles were seen on television footage, and social media, stretching along both sides of a 50-mile section of Interstate 95 in Virginia late on Tuesday, January 4.
Many were stuck for at least 20 hours, as road crews tried to free up the lanes enough to get traffic moving again. The Virginia Department of Transportation reported snowy and icy conditions causing huge lorries to jackknife and block the road.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was one of those unfortunate enough to be snared up in the chaos. He tweeted a photo out of his windscreen, adding, “I started my normal 2-hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol”.
“Crews will start taking people off at any available interchange to get them”, said a tweet from the state’s department of transportation early on Tuesday morning. Diverting traffic onto other routes was not easy, as many had suffered fallen trees that were subsequently blocking the way.
Amtrak travellers did not fare a lot better. On Monday morning, hundreds of passengers were stranded near Lynchburg, Virginia, and were still there for quite a lot of Tuesday as well. Their train had originally departed New Orleans on Sunday, destined for New York.
According to the Daily Mail, they were stuck inside the train without food, and with blocked toilets, for around 30 hours, after the snowstorm hit. Fallen trees blocking the tracks ahead were blamed for the incident by Amtrak officials.
At least five people have reportedly died from the storm conditions, and on Tuesday morning, around 300,000 homeowners were left without any electricity supply.
“Right now, things aren’t moving as you know, and as you can see on the cameras”, Governor Ralph Northam told radio station WTOP on Tuesday morning. Adding, “We need to get the cars and the trucks off the roads. We need to keep people safe, and then we need to clear them”.
According to the National Weather Service, between seven and ten inches of snow had fallen in the area. By around 9am on Tuesday, some traffic was able to move in a single file, having to dodge in and out of stranded lorries and vehicles, as reported by metro.co.uk.
Travel nightmare in Virginia following yesterday's heavy snowstorm https://t.co/yfRyC9BzSK
— Jackson Dill (@Jackson_Dill) January 4, 2022