A number of truckers and motorists have been stuck on an interstate in Virginia for more than 20 hours following a snowstorm on Monday.
As of Tuesday morning, I-95 in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area remains closed in both directions between exit 152 (Dumfries) and exit 104 (Carmel Church).
While I-95 remains closed, we continue to ask drivers in the Fredericksburg area to avoid travel with most roads in severe condition, meaning snow-covered with little to no visible pavement. Travel is expected to remain hazardous for most of the day. pic.twitter.com/8UEs7D11fU
— VDOT Fredericksburg (@VaDOTFRED) January 4, 2022
The 48 mile interstate shutdown comes after Virginia state police responded to hundreds of crashes on Monday, including a six semi truck pileup on southbound I-95 at exit 136.
The I-95 closure left hundreds of drivers stranded on the interstate overnight, and many are running out of fuel, food, and water.
“We know many travelers have been stuck on Interstate 95 in our region for extraordinary periods of time over the past 24 hours, in some cases since Monday morning. This is unprecedented, and we continue to steadily move stopped trucks to make progress toward restoring lanes. In addition to clearing the trucks, we are treating for snow and several inches of ice that has accumulated around them to ensure that when the lanes reopen, motorists can safely proceed to their destination,” said Marcie Parker, P.E. VDOT Fredericksburg District Engineer.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said that he has been stuck on I-95 since 1 p.m. on Monday and is in contact with transportation authorities to address the situation.
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
Crews are working to provide assistance to drivers who ran out of fuel overnight.
#Breaking: Emergency crews are now using the I-95 express lanes to access drivers who have run out of fuel, stuck in the backup since yesterday’s #snowstorm, as portions of a 48 mile stretch remain blocked in Northern Virginia @nbcwashington @melissamollet @TomLynch_ pic.twitter.com/ZjZ0m08mdz
— ʙʀᴀᴅ ꜰʀᴇɪᴛᴀꜱ (@Chopper4Brad) January 4, 2022
The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising stranded drivers to stay in their vehicles and to call 911 in case of emergency.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says that he is working to open warming centers for stranded drivers.
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.
While sunlight is expected to help @VaDOT clear the road, all Virginians should continue to avoid 1-95.
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 4, 2022
Truck driver Matthew Marchand is stuck on I-95 but is stocked up with fuel and food. Marchand told Business Insider, “Roads do close. I drive in northern Canada, and roads do get closed for one or two days. But people are prepared for it because they know what the reality is. No one driving on I-95 is ever thinking that I-95 is going to shut down for in excess of 14 or 15 hours.”
It isn’t clear when I-95 will reopen.