Motorists sit stranded on Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia, on January 4, 2022.
WJLA via AP
- Motorists stuck on I-95 in Virginia are sitting on top of four inches of ice, officials said.
- The Virginia Department of Transportation expects the pileup to be cleared by this evening.
- Vehicles have been trapped on the highway for almost 24 hours after intense snowfall hit the area beginning early Monday morning.
Cars trapped on I-95 in Virginia are stuck with four inches of ice beneath them, Marcie Parker, District Engineer for Virginia Department of Transportation, told reporters.
Motorists have been trapped on the highway for almost 24 hours after intense snowfall hit the area beginning early Monday morning.
I-95 was officially closed around 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday due to the pileup of cars and the fact that the process to remove them was taking longer than anticipated, according to Parker.
Parker said she expects all of the cars to be finished clearing by this evening, at least in time for Wednesday morning’s rush hour traffic.
Before Monday’s storm began, Parker confirmed I-95 was not pre-treated in anticipation for the snow because the storm was expected to begin with rain which would have washed away the treatment.
As a result, vehicles stuck on the interstate are sitting on top of four inches of ice.
Currently VDOT, in coordination with the Virginia State Police and nearby localities, is working on removing the remaining cars from the 40-mile stretch highway that was backed up.
Plenty of motorists are still in their cars, waiting to be freed. Many have run out of fuel, food, and water while waiting.
Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police public relations director, described rescuing stuck vehicles as a “tedious process” that comprises the majority of the problem. She said there were no reported crashes they have to work on clearing.
Once the cars are removed with tow trucks, Parker said that plows and motor graders are ready to go to remove snow and cut through the ice on the road.
Parker said that the VDOT thought they were prepared for the storm, but the snow fell faster and for longer than they had anticipated. She admitted that for a storm of this intensity, the department was not prepared.