This image, provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation, shows a closed section of Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Monday, January 3, 2022.
Virginia Department of Transportation | AP
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is among hundreds of drivers trapped in a brutal traffic jam caused by heavy snow and icy roads for hours on a freeway outside Washington Tuesday morning.
“I started my normal 2-hour drive to DC at 1:00 pm yesterday,” Kaine tweeted at 8:27 am ET. “19 hours later, I’m still not anywhere near the Capitol.”
Still in his car at around 10 p.m. ET, Kaine tweeted, “A CT family returning from Florida in a crowded car stopped by in the middle of the night handing out oranges when we were stopped for hours on I-95.
“This was a miserable experience, but at some point I made the switch from a miserable travel experience to some kind of survival project,” Kaine said Tuesday morning in a telephone interview with Washington radio station WTOP.
The Democratic senator, who ran Hillary Clinton’s runner-up against former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, said he intended to go back to work on Monday Continue Senate negotiations on a voting rights agreement. But more than 21 hours after leaving his home in Richmond, he has still not passed Stafford Airport, which is about 50 miles from Washington.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, I think that’s all I can say,” Kaine said.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has closed I-95, with reports of disabled vehicles and fallen trees in the Fredericksburg area, about 50 miles south of DC
“We got an estimated 20-30 trucks stuck” on the I-95 heading north, tweeted the VDOT Fredericksburg shortly before midnight.
Conditions are dangerous on other roads in Virginia as well. The VDOT warns Louisa County of “multiple unfolded semi-trailers” on US Route 522 overnight.
“We wish we had a timetable, estimated time of arrival, or an educated guess as to when we would resume travel on I-95. Several incidents have come to a standstill in our area. It’s frustrating and scary, ”tweeted VDOT Fredericksburg on Monday evening.
NBC News’s Josh Lederman, also stuck in his vehicle overnight, called the scene “pretty dystopian” in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday morning.
“Nobody knows how long we will stay here or how we will get out,” he reported from his car.
Other drivers stranded in traffic had to park their cars to save gas, even as temperatures dropped well below freezing overnight, Lederman said.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tweeted Tuesday morning that “state and local emergency services continue to cut fallen trees, assist disabled vehicles, and reroute drivers.”
“An emergency message goes out to any stranded drivers they associate with assistance, and the state is working with communities to open warming shelters if necessary. While sunlight is supposed to help @VaDOT clear the street, all Virginians should continue to avoid 1-95, ”Northam tweeted.
Another reporter, Jim DeFede of CBS News, said in a video posted at 10 a.m. ET that he was stuck on I-95 near Quantico for nearly 18 hours.
This is the evolution of news. Please check again for updates.