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Hundreds stranded on I-95 in Virginia for more than 15 hours, and they're running out of fuel, food, and water in frigid conditions

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  • Hundreds of drivers on I-95 in northern Virginia have been stuck for more than 15 hours in the snow.

  • Motorists told Insider they're running out of fuel for heating and had no food or water.

  • Officials are trying to clear the roads.

As of Tuesday morning local time, drivers in northern Virginia had been stuck for more than 15 hours on Interstate 95 after a crash involving six tractor-trailers and some downed trees ground traffic to a halt.

Both northbound and southbound lanes of 1-95 were blocked near Fredericksburg, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Video: Here's what would happen if the Earth's ice melted overnight

Many of those locked in the standstill said they're running out of fuel for heating and were without food or water.

—Stafford County (@staffordvagov) January 3, 2022

Among those trapped is one of Virginia's US senators, Tim Kaine, who tweeted Tuesday morning that he'd been stuck for 19 hours.

"I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I'm still not near the Capitol," he wrote.

—Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 4, 2022

The NBC News White House correspondent Josh Lederman, who was stuck in the traffic, tweeted Tuesday morning that traffic was starting to move northbound.

—Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) January 4, 2022

The multiple-truck crash occurred as Virginia was blanketed with more than 14 inches of snow, leaving more than 400,000 residents without power.

"There's snow everywhere. I need to keep the heat on," Kiran Bose, a driver traveling with four others to Richmond, told Insider on Monday night. "I'm a quarter tank away from the end."

He said his car hadn't moved for four hours as of 1:30 a.m., and the 24-year-old recent graduate said what was supposed to be a five-hour drive had turned into a 12-hour ordeal in frigid weather.

"Everyone's in the same boat. Most of them were out of their cars, but they couldn't withstand the cold," Bose said. The temperature in Fredericksburg as of Tuesday 4 a.m. was 16 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Accuweather.

The nearest gas station, Bose said, is 3 to 4 miles away. "It's a nightmare. We can't walk in the snow. The roads are icy and slippery."

The Virginia police said the six-trailer crash happened at about noon Monday, according to NBC 4 News. The semi-trucks jack-knifed across the roadway.

Since then, crews from Virginia's transportation department had been working through the night to plow roads and relieve the traffic, per the department's Twitter account. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

A truck driver named Matthew Marchand told Insider on Monday night that he'd been stopped since 6:45 p.m., though he already noticed traffic slowing to a crawl before noon. Overall, he moved 20 miles in 15 hours, he said.

"The road hasn't been plowed in any appreciable way," the 36-year-old said. "There's sections of road that still have a half-foot of snow on them."

Neither he nor Bose said described receiving any word from the authorities on incoming aid.

A view of snow-covered trucks and cars stuck in traffic on the I-95 during the day.
Marchand said he started noticing traffic slowing down to a crawl before noon.Matthew Marchand

Marchand, whose truck is stocked with fuel, food, and water for winter driving emergencies, said he'd been sharing some of his supplies with nearby drivers. He said in his travels across the US he'd never seen people stranded without supplies for so long on a snowed-in highway.

"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," Marchand said.

"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."

The Fredericksburg branch of the Virginia transportation department said on Tuesday morning that its crews were "mobilizing now to start taking people stopped on interstate off nearby interchanges to bring them to alternate routes."

—VDOT Fredericksburg (@VaDOTFRED) January 4, 2022

Read the original article on Insider

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