Stranded Drivers Are Freed After 24-Hour Snowy Ordeal on I-95 in Virginia – The New York Times
“That was entirely too much for us to keep up with,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
Cars and trucks slowed, and then stopped, on their way up and down hills. At least one tractor-trailer slid sideways across the highway. In some places, Ms. Parker said, four inches of ice froze underneath vehicles.
Winter Storms in the United States
From the East Coast to the Western U.S., a barrage of winter storms has wreaked havoc across the country.
Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, said the authorities had responded to more than 1,000 traffic crashes and more than 1,000 disabled or stuck vehicles statewide. “We don’t believe that accounts for the vehicles on the 95 stretch,” she said.
Ms. Parker said a “significant” number of vehicles remained trapped on the highway. Local news accounts and witnesses put the figure in the hundreds.
Ms. Parker said that crews and tow trucks may finish clearing the interstate of ice and vehicles by Tuesday night.
The snowstorm trapped truckers, students, families and every stripe of commuter, including Tim Kaine, the junior U.S. senator from Virginia and a former Democratic nominee for vice president. His ordeal began at about 1 p.m. on Monday, as his normal two-hour commute to the Capitol was disrupted by the gathering accidents and snow.
“I’m extremely tired,” Mr. Kaine said in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon as he arrived in Washington, having spent more than 20 hours stuck in his vehicle. “I had to sleep in my car last night on an ice-packed interstate with a ton of other cars.”
He said he left his car on for 30 minutes at a time to charge his phone, make calls and warm up, then turned it off to save gas and to sleep for 20 minutes or so, only to be wakened by the cold. When he wasn’t napping, Mr. Kaine said, he passed the time by sipping Dr Pepper, listening to SiriusXM radio and eating small wedges of an orange that another stranded driver had given him.