Snow Interstate 81 highway Virginia
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Motorists Stranded on Interstate Highway For Greater Than 24 Hours — Avoid It If Possible: January 4 2022

Reports of people running out of food and fuel as they wait to be rescued...

Thousands of motorists have been stranded on a major interstate highway in Virginia for greater than 20 hours due to snowy winter weather — which has been blamed for an accident which involved tractor trailer trucks that blocked the highway — causing shortages of food, water, and fuel along the route.

Motorists Stranded on Interstate Highway For Greater Than 24 Hours — Avoid It If Possible: January 4 2022

At the time this article was written, Interstate 95 is still closed in both directions for a total of 48 miles between exit 152 in Dumfries and exit 104 in Carmel Church, according to this message from the official Twitter account of the Department of Transportation of Virginia in Fredericksburg — and motorists should expect significant congestion on United States Highway 1 and other alternate routes.

Tips and advice have been posted at the official Twitter account of the American Red Cross pertaining to what to do if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle — as well as how to prepare yourself for such an event.

In addition to staying in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you, running the heat for ten minutes each hour to keep warm while simultaneously saving fuel, and keeping snow clear from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the United States also recommends having essential items on hand if you become stranded while driving in extreme cold weather.

Anger has spread as a result of the perceived lack of attention which this situation has received from the commonwealth of Virginia, as shown via other messages which have been posted on Twitter — including one from Tim Kaine, who is a member of the Senate of the United States.

Final Boarding Call

I have yet to know all of the specific information which led to what seems to be an inexcusable disaster on Interstate 95 between the District of Columbia and Richmond; but my brother — who is based in Maryland — has called this stretch of highway The Gauntlet because traffic almost always clogs this important corridor, which stretches from the border Maine shares with New Brunswick all the way to southern Florida.

At least two travel alerts which were posted here at The Gate warned of the impending inclement weather conditions which led to this debacle — in this article and this article.

The main reasons why I post travel alerts here at The Gate is not only to inform you of travel waivers which have been offered by airlines to passengers who are affected by the weather so that you can change your plans as easily and as quickly as possible; but also to inform you of weather conditions in case you plan on traveling to, from, or within the areas which are affected by weather. In this case, you might have rented a car and wound up stuck on Interstate 95 for 24 hours — and I do not want to see that happen to you. Rather, I want you to enjoy travel as much as possible and as safely as possible.

As for the motorists and passengers who have been stranded on Interstate 95: I hope that they are extricated from this situation as soon as possible, as safely as possible, and as healthy as possible.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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