The Virginia state police said that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) road crews have continued to clear abandoned vehicles on Interstate 95 after rain, snow and ice stranded drivers along a 40-mile stretch. In a briefing Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed that that there have been no reports of fatalities or injuries, saying that the perfect storm created an “incredibly unusual event” that resulted in the major backup. Northam said that road crews from VDOT and emergency responders have been working around the clock to tow disabled vehicles and get traffic moving again.
Said Northam: “First we had rain, which meant that VDOT couldn’t adequately pretreat the roads. Then we had slushy snow that fell a lot faster than our snowplows could move it, and then as the night fell, the temperatures dropped below freezing. All of those together created the perfect storm for what happened on I-95 last night.”
Multiple tractor trailers, blocking the highway led to miles of backups with people stuck in their cars for many hours. Northam said that the region was not prepared for the weather that swept through the region: “We were prepared for the storm that was predicted — a few inches of snow, but instead, Mother Nature sent more than a foot of snow to the Fredericksburg area.” Northam said that the state has not called upon the National Guard for assistance because it takes time to deploy them and that their road crews. The VDOT anticipated that I-95 would be cleared of vehicles ahead of Wednesday’s rush hour.
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